Meet Samuel Brinton. At age 12, he proudly bragged to his Southern Baptist missionary father that he didn’t feel the same sinful lust that the other boys felt when looking at a contraband Playboy magazine, though he did feel that way when thinking about his best friend Dale. Immediately Sam’s father began punching him and eventually sent Sam to the hospital six times for “falling down the stairs.” He then subjected Sam to conversion therapy that involved freezing, burning and “the Month of Hell,” in which his parents drove needles into his fingers and electrocuted him every time they showed him gay porn.
Sam, who now attends Kansas State University, is probably the most understanding (or hopelessly optimistic) ex-gay therapy survivor in the United States, as he still tries reaching out to his dad even though his father wants Sam to have nothing to do with his younger siblings and has threatened to shoot him if he ever comes home again.
We’re happy Sam is still alive despite his torture and that he has offered his story to “I’m From Driftwood” to help those who have been horrifically abused for their LGBT identity. For any parent who thinks that treating their child like a Vietnamese war prisoner might make them straight, it doesn’t work—unless you consider this a shining example of heterosexuality.