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KState Student's Profile of Conversion Therapy Victim Wins "Rolling Stone" Journalism Award

By Anthonia Akitunde


Kansas City, MO – Jason Strachman Miller, a senior and editor-in-chief of Kansas State University's Collegian, stumbled upon a gripping story while researching a project for his Computer Assisted Reporting class.

A fellow student, whom Strachman Miller named "Thomas Swanson" to protect his identity, had undergone a series of torturous "therapy" sessions to rid him of his homosexual feelings. Swanson was 13 years old when his parents, missionaries from Florida, introduced him to a "conversion therapist." The therapy subjected him to ice, heat and electroshock treatments while projecting images of men being intimate together for hours.

Strachman Miller's two-part feature on Swanson's experiences won Rolling Stone magazine's 2010 College Journalism Award. He spoke with KCUR intern, Anthonia Akitunde, about his win and Swanson's story.

You can read Strachman Miller's profile of Thomas Swanson's story on the Collegian's website:

  • "Student recounts painful conversion therapy, abuse"
  • "Student finds sympathy, understanding at K-State through 'untherapy'"
  • This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.


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