Today’s Video Story was collected on the 50-state Story Tour. Check out the blog where you can follow us on our adventure, and where you can learn a bit more about Sam. If you haven’t submitted a story yet to IFD, or if you want to submit another one, I’d love to read and publish it. Write one up and send it in.
I’m Samuel Brinton, and I’m from Perry, Iowa. I grew up the son of Southern Baptist missionaries and we were living on a mission base so a lot of missionary families living together and the way I like to say it: Sin entered the building, a playboy got on to the campus and so of course all the middle school boys my age, it was perfect, because we had been limited to centered PBS for most of our lives. It was, you know, heavenly and I thought myself so righteous because it didn’t effect me at all. I went up to my dad and said, “Dad,” and of course telling on the others, I was so wonderful and it didn’t hurt me, and telling him “but it’s really weird, I don’t, I didn’t get the same feelings, I said, I have those feeling when I think of Dale” my best friend. My dad just started punching. That was the first day I was sent to the emergency room, because I had “fallen down the stairs.” I was sent to the emergency room about six more times for falling down the stairs or tripping on the sidewalk. I’m in this constant state of fear, my mom finally starts recognizing “You know what? Hitting him may not be working. Let’s try therapy” It started with the first few weeks. I had AIDS, I was the only gay person left in the world, cause the Government found all the other gays and killed them as children, if they found me, they would kill me. The perfect way to keep a child or a teen from coming out. We moved on to physical therapy. Physical therapy was my hands being tied down and blocks of ice being placed on my hands, then pictures of men holding hands would be shown to me, so that I would associate the concept of the pain of ice with a man touching me. It worked really really really well. My dad could hardly hug me anymore. I would scream out in pain. Then we went in to heat. So coils would be wrapped around my hands and you’d be able to turn the heat on or off, so now if we have a picture of a guy or girl hugging, it was no pain. If it was a picture of a guy and a guy hugging, we had physical pain. We then went in to the “month of hell.” The “month of hell” consisted of tiny needles being stuck in to my fingers, and then pictures of explicit acts between men would be shown and I’d be electrocuted. At this point I was completely dead, God did not want me on this earth anymore, so we lived on a three story building. I told my sister goodbye and I walked to the roof. My mom finds me up on the roof, say’s “She will love me again if I will just change. Cause my sister had tattled on me. My mom’s up there. She’ll love me again if I’ll just change. Which is not the thing to say to a person standing on the edge of a building. At this point, I’m a logical person again, and it shines through. This is only three stories and if I don’t die, this is going to hurt worse than the others, so I run back in to my mom’s arms saying “You know what? I’m changed! It’s done! It worked! Epiphany from God.” The pain finally stopped.