A teen from Georgia who was beaten and disowned by his conservative, religious family has received an outpouring of support through a crowd-funding campaign to help him rebuild his life.
Daniel Pierce’s coming out video to his allegedly “Christian” family has been seen over two million times since it was uploaded Wednesday. In the video, Pierce’s family claims he chose to be gay despite the 19-year-old college student’s protestations. From there, tempers erupt and Pierce is physically and verbally attacked.
Disclaimer: the video contains strong and inflammatory language
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The Advocate authenticated Pierce’s story with his aunt, Teri Cooper, who picked Daniel up after receiving a frantic text that his family was trying to stage an “intervention” to “pray away the gay.” When she arrived, Pierce’s family refused to let her in but Daniel eventually emerged with a split lip.
Since the altercation, Daniel has been staying with friends in Atlanta, but the video has elicited an overwhelmingly supportive response as strangers have donated over $50,000 through a GoFundMe page dedicated to helping Pierce with living expenses.
Daniel recently took to the page to offer his thanks:
Oh My you guys! I am in tears! I didn’t realize that this was even set up for me! I am so thankful for all the comments, support and donations! I don’t even know how to thank y’all! I wish I could give each and everyone of you a huge hug! I was trying to respond to everyone but I couldn’t keep up!! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! This is all just so amazing!!!
Thank You from the bottom of my heart!!
Though the video is a reminder of the intolerance, hatred and homophobia many teens still face when coming out, it’s also a reminder of the love, support and understanding that is available. For a list of resources for at-risk LGBT youth, visit the Ali Forney Center.