Early yesterday morning I posted the video of 20 year-old Georgia resident Daniel Pierce, who recorded his family as they verbally and physically abused him for being gay. Since then the clip has gone wildly viral with over 2 million views. The story has been picked up by the national press, fueling donations that stand at over $52K at this writing.
Pierce confirmed the video’s details to the Huffington Post on Thursday, adding that he initially came out to his parents in October. But when his father, stepmother and grandparents attempted to stage a “delayed intervention” on Wednesday, things quickly went awry, which resulted in Pierce being attacked, disowned and thrown out of his house. “You’re full of shit,” Pierce’s stepmother can be heard saying in the video. “You told me on the phone that you made that choice. You know you wasn’t born that way. You know damn good and well you made that choice. You know that [your father] has done everything he can to raise you. … He didn’t need to blame himself.” “Their reaction was pretty much expected [once] I chose to leave instead of pray because they have always been very vocal about not supporting the gay lifestyle,” Pierce told the Huffington Post. “My [stepmother’s] reaction was the most surprising and hurtful.” Sadly, Pierce’s story is not unique. While Pierce has confirmed that he is now safely staying with supportive friends and family members, there are many LGBT youths in America who face even more unfortunate circumstances. A 2012 study by UCLA’s Williams Institute found that around 40% of homeless youths identify as LGBT, many of them having been rejected or abused by their family members over their gender or sexual orientation.
While Pierce appears to be in safe hands now, countless other LGBT youth remain in peril. Please consider supporting the Ali Forney Center or a similar organization near you.