Sam Brinton received a dual Master's degree in engineering systems and nuclear science and engineering from MIT. He is the son of Southern Baptist missionaries and a survivor of a traumatic and torturous conversion therapy experience. After coming out while he was an undergraduate at Kansas State University, he 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, he was the first survivor of conversion therapy to testify before the United Nations Committee Against Torture. In December of 2016, he 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 his 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, he 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 his stilettos to Congress to advise legislators about nuclear policy and to the White House where he advised President Obama and Michelle Obama on LGBT issues. He shows young men and women everywhere he goes that they can be who they are and gives them courage. Once, while he was walking around Disney World in 6 inch stilettos with his boyfriend, a young gay boy saw Sam with his 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 his experiences and speak about the trauma he was subjected to, but he does it anyways because is committed to making sure that no child is subjected to what he went through. He does not apologize for who he is and he fights for the right for other LGBT youth to be able to live as openly and proudly as he does.
(This biographical statement provided by Sam Brinton.)
Biography Date: September 2017
Baptist (Southern) | Conversion Therapy | Queer/non-conforming | Transgender activism