US

Brilliant gender-fluid nuclear expert and LGBT+ activist lands crucial job in Biden administration

Vic Parsons February 14, 2022
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Sam Brinton is the first gender fluid federal government appointment

Sam Brinton during a news conference outside the Capitol in 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Joe Biden has appointed a gender-fluid person, Sam Brinton, to a high-ranking post in the Department of Energy.

Sam Brinton, an LGBT+ activist and Massachusetts Institute of Technology nuclear engineering graduate, accepted Biden’s offer to serve as the deputy assistant secretary of spent fuel and waste disposition in the Office of Nuclear Energy for the Department of Energy on 10 January.

“In this role I’ll be doing what I always dreamed of doing, leading the effort to solve the nation’s nuclear waste challenges,” Brinton wrote on LinkedIn. “I’ll do all I can to bring innovative thought into this government role. I’ll even be (to my knowledge) the first gender-fluid person in federal government leadership.”

They added: “But most importantly, I am going to be responsible for finding solutions to a problem I have dedicated my life to that has been stymied for decades.”

As an MIT graduate, Brinton has dedicated their career to solving nuclear waste problems. They are also director of global political strategy at Deep Isolation, one of the only nuclear waste start-ups in the US.

Previously the vice president of advocacy and government affairs at The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organisation for LGBT+ youth, Brinton is also an outspoken survivor of conversion therapy.

While at The Trevor Project they founded the ’50 Bills 50 States’ campaign, which aims to end the discredited and harmful practice as well as support LGBT+ youth who have been exposed to conversion-therapy efforts. The campaign has seen widespread support, including from Playboy.

Brinton’s appointment at the Department of Energy did not require Senate confirmation, and this rank of Cabinet official is typically an under-the-radar political appointment. However, right-wing accounts on social-media seized on Brinton’s gender and sexuality to attack them for an alleged “openly deviant lifestyle” – which constitutes a long list of offences, including being a “proud drag queen” and having a kink.

According to conservatives, this outrageous degeneracy apparently means that Biden appointing Brinton is “emblematic of the country’s social decline”.

 

 

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