Sam Brinton (they/them) received a dual Master's degree in engineering systems and nuclear science and engineering from MIT. Sam is the son of Southern Baptist missionaries and a survivor of a traumatic and torturous conversion therapy experience. After coming out while they were an undergraduate at Kansas State University, they became involved in LGBT student groups and organized the university's first Pride March in 2010. Sam later became a prominent activist in the BornPerfect Campaign to end conversion therapy and, in 2014, they were the first survivor of conversion therapy to testify before the United Nations Committee Against Torture. In December of 2016, they founded 50 Bills 50 States, a non-profit campaign to ban licensed professionals from practicing conversion therapy on LGBT youth. Sam has been featured in TIME magazine, the NBC News, Salon, VICE, PBS NewsHour, CNN, and MSNBC.
In addition to their social activism, Sam has also founded Core Solutions Consulting which provides technical expertise on topics ranging from nuclear waste management to advanced nuclear reactor innovation and nuclear non-proliferation policy to advanced nuclear companies, non-partisan think tanks, and top tier universities. In 2011, they created the Stand With Science campaign, which united 10,000 students and allies from across the country to advocate for federal science and engineering research funding.
Sam has worn stilettos to Congress to advise legislators about nuclear policy and to the White House where they advised President Obama and Michelle Obama on LGBTQ+ issues. Brinton shows young persons that they can be who they are and gives them courage. Once, while they were walking around Disney World in 6 inch stilettos with a boyfriend, a young gay boy saw Sam with the boyfriend and started crying. He told his mother, ‘"t’s true, Mom. WE can be our own princess here."
It is very difficult for Sam to relive their experiences and speak about the trauma they were subjected to, but does it anyways because of their commitment to making sure that no child is subjected to what they went through. Brinton does not apologize for who they are and fights for the right for other LGBT youth to be able to live as openly and proudly as they does.
(This biographical statement provided by Sam Brinton.)
Biography Date: September 2017; rev. February 2022
Baptist (Southern) | Conversion Therapy | Trans activism
“Sam Brinton | Profile”, LGBTQ Religious Archives Network, accessed January 30, 2023, https://lgbtqreligiousarchives.org/profiles/sam-brinton.
“I remember when I went to my first Pride parade, it was among one of the first Pride parades that Mr. Brinton had started. I remember I was on my phone with my grandmother and me and my best friend were worried that she would find out we were at Pride. His reason for this was his extremely devout Christian family here in the Bible belt, and my reason for worrying was because my great-grandmother was hardcore Christian, and she had cancer and I didn't want her to think I was an abomination before she passed, because I didn't know how she would take it. And Sam heard us talking and came up to us and said just be you, don't let other people make you fit in how they want you to. It was like God put an angel in him, he noticed this, and since he told me this I have thought of it every day. I go to school where I live in the Bible Belt, and it makes me feel good inside and helps me to ignore those who wish to put me down because I am a Bisexual Christian, and many people at school know, and tried to put me down because of it. I feel that what Sam said has become my philosophy through life. It has changed my life for the better.”
– as remembered by Aiden on April 15, 2021
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