Main | Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Ex-Gay" Survivor Tells Story

Samuel Brinton, now a 23 year-old MIT graduate, tells Bay Windows about the "ex-gay" therapist his parents forced him to visit at the age of 13.
During his first one-on-one appointment, the session leader―who Sam specifies was a "religious therapist" and not a doctor―told Sam, "I want you to know that you’re gay, and all gay people have AIDS." The therapist then showed Sam pictures of men dying from AIDS, using them as visual indicators of how Sam, himself, would die. Together, the therapist and Sam’s parents instilled in the boy the belief that he was the only living gay person in the world, that the government had killed all the other gay children, and that they’d kill him too if he acted gay. He carried this belief as truth until his second year of college. Loneliness colored Sam’s thirteen-year-old world. "I’m dying of AIDS, I’m completely alone, and the government is looking for me," Sam remembers feeling. The worst part? Sam’s parents and therapist told him God had abandoned him and his chances at getting into heaven were shrinking every day. "The strongest thing my family has is its relationship to God, and now He hates me," Sam recalls.
Brinton's "treatments" including physical abuse such as electroshock therapy.

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