The 19-year-old gay man who was assaulted by his parents and kicked out of their house after coming out as gay has been identified as Kennesaw, Georgia teen Daniel Pierce.
After the recorded altercation with his parents went viral and gained over 3 million views on YouTube in three days, Pierce is speaking with 11Alive about what caused the shocking reaction in the video, where he plans to go now and what he’s going to do with over $90,000 that has been raised in his name.
Pierce tells 11Alive that the video was recorded at a “pray the gay away intervention” organized by his family, which included his grandparents, his father, step-mother and a sister. In it, Daniel’s father can be heard pinning him to the ground and calling him a “queer.”
“I thought for myself, for my own protection if something were to happen it would be best to have it on video. I just hit record. I just hit camera and hit record. I just know that I did it for my protection and it kind of all went from there, and the video really speaks for itself,” he said.
“What I hope people take away from watching that is it still happens. A lot of people don’t realize that it happens. They see all the positive videos and the negative video never gets seen so if one family maybe watches it and maybe changes their mind in how they are going to handle it about their son or daughter coming out, one family and I will be happy. I want to education people on the issue because it is something going on.”
The GoFundMe page set up to raise money for Daniel’s living expenses was created by a close friend, Daniel says, and has received nearly $95,000 at time of posting. Though he’s not specific, Daniel says he “plans to donate some of the money to LGBT support groups.”
As for his parents, Daniel says he hasn’t been contacted by them since and doesn’t plan on reaching out to them.
Besides public support, this young man has other advantages which are important for surviving family rejection: He’s articulate, and he is wise enough to admit he doesn’t have life figured out.
How many of us expressed ourselves that well when we were nineteen, and how many of us didn’t have an idealistic visual image of where we thought we’d be a year later?
It sounds as if Daniel Pierce has it together better than a lot of people twice his age. He hasn’t made the overconfident statement, “I’m moving to San Francisco and taking the city by storm.” Of course, he’s welcome in San Francisco, but he has other options and he’s obviously thinking carefully.
I hope he donates some of that money to organizations that help other displaced LGBT youth.
He could easily take $18,000 of that to pay for a small apartment for 2yrs while attending school at some state college. Buy himself a used car for $9,000 bucks and keep the rest in a low interest, low risk earning account. If he does that, he can easily give his bigoted family a mighty F*ck You while he resets his life.
Of course he could give into the pressures of gay culture and become a club queen and spend all his money on Prada and nose candy.. Who know what can happen? lol
I’m all for donating to worthy causes, but Daniel, if you’re reading this, you’re going to need that money for your survival, which is why it was was raised for you. It may seem like a lot and that it’s so much, you should donate. But it goes really really fast.
Religion at it’s best. People at their worst. Not an attractive combination. Ignorance in this Family is hereditary, with one fine excemption.
You are Right Daniel – it’s your Family that’s Lost and obviously Criminal. Hate disguised as religion. Let them rot in the Hell they already live in. Start your life now, and certainly without them.
@schwma: One thing the interview makes clear is Daniel Pierce is aware he’s dealing with the unknown. It’s hard to know how much experience he has with money, but at age nineteen he has used excellent judgment in handling a complicated situation with his family.
I’m from Kennesaw and now live in New York. I agree with schwma. Charities are great but this money is for you bud. My parents thankfully accepted me but my first bf in Kennesaw came out to his mom in the car. She pulled over and started punching him, kicked him out and drove off. There’s many resources there in Georgia. He’ll be fine.
He should use a certain amount of that money to get as far away from his bigoted family as quickly as possible.
Never mind the money. I hope some professionals donate their time to advise him how to manage this money to give him a brighter future.
@Ann Mason: Absolutely correct and to the point! Thank you! George M Melby, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain
@Ridpathos: I believe that was stated in the second to last paragraph in the article? You’re welcome! 🙂
Yawn! Could have focused more on getting his education and doing it for himself first instead of proclaiming that he loves sucking dick, or he could have simply been more discreet. He probably received all these donations because the gay community was mourning the loss of Josey Greenwell, and they quickly latched onto him and drew him in — they’re always recruiting.
Those parents have the right to decide who stays under their roof and make sure they behave the way they want them to; it’s their house and belief. Deal with it or pack your shit and get the fuck out. Matter of fact, you don’t have anything! You’re now in the eyes of the gay community and they’ve given your their attention, boy. All will run smoothly.
I give Daniel Pierce a lot of credit for standing up to these bigoted, brutal family members, and am glad that he has received so much public support. I wish him the very best.
I just hope all of us on Queerty can contribute something, even a little bit, to organizations all over the country that are helping people like him who deal with homophobic, abusive family members, because he is not the only one, and he–fortunately, at least to some degree–captured their hatefulness on video and audio, so now millions of people know about their behavior.
People like Daniel’s family not only assault our bodies but our minds and souls, leading us to internalize our own self-hatred. Support organizations do a vital job in helping people to heal and reconstruct their lives.
The problem isn’t gay or bi or trans or queer people, whoever we are, however we behave. The problem is HOMOPHOBIA.
While it tends to be difficult to manage a lot of money if it comes at once, it should help him to not blow it all if he keeps in mind that the money was donated and not won. Finding a counselor could probably help under the circumstances, to at least help keep him aware of potentially escapist behavior that could easily break the bank in a matter of months. He seems like a sharp guy though, and this experience has probably had a profoundly positive impact on his optimism about life in spite of his hardship.
@Dxley: Self hating much?
@Dxley: Don’t have kid if you’re gonna act like a selfish-little-bitch. It’s true that one have the right to implement rule and expectation in one own house, but it does not mean that one should mistreat one own kids, hurt them, reject them, and treat them as if they are stranger. There’s a saying, blood run thicker than water.
Daniel, please DO NOT donate a cent of your money. You should use it for your education and survival. You will need this money and the people who gave it to you wanted you to have it.
Daniel’s GoFundMe page has stopped accepting donations and he asks that concerned people donate to Lost-and-Found Youth in Atlanta and other organizations. He is truly grace under extreme pressure. I think we’ll be hearing good things from this kid in the future.
I realize it’s *verboten* now to be even a little bit suspicious of this story, but two days ago he was 20 years old and now suddenly he’s 19. This is a rather odd disparity.
SCHWMA IS RIGHT DANIEL!!! It goes FAST! STAY FOCUSED BABY BOY!!!
Does he have to pay taxes on this? Hope he finds out definitively from someone knowledgeable. It would bite to spend it all and then have the IRS show up with a huge tax bill next spring.
Daniel, if you read this, you don’t have to donate any of the money to other groups. It was donated to YOU. Just do something smart with it. If you don’t know what that is right now, have a bank put it away where you can’t touch it for a while, and therefore you can tell all the people who will start asking you for gifts and to help them out, “sorry, I would, but I can’t touch it for a while.”
Investing in some residential real estate with good rental potential somewhere might not be the worst idea. You cold live there for a while then rent it out when you move on.
When you get older you realize how smart it would have been to start SAVING at your age, instead of spending. COMPOUND INTEREST !
…meaning the most genius thing would be for you to take a good chunk of that and put it away and not have to worry about paying for your retirement. THEN you can start donating, when you retire young.
@Dxley: Dixley just because you live your pathetic life in the closet and will always continue to do so doesn’t mean others shouldn’t be true to who they are.
You are a coward, a liar, weak, sad and a disgusting person in general. I feel so sorry for the wife you will lie to with your duplicity and the poor children you possibly might produce. I need a license for my dog but a piece of sh!t like you can be father-Christ what a world, what a world.
@Black Pegasus: Good point. Hopefully won’t blow it all on meth and hookers. 😉 At first I wondered if the video was staged, based on how quickly the GoFundMe arose, and the reality TV world we live in. But what family would shine such a horrible light on themselves. These folks seem to be true Bible beatin’ rednecks.
@Dxley: Whatever you wrote it’s wrong, no-nutz.
I still don’t believe the assault was due to him being gay. It escalated when he started talking about how his father never did anything for him. That’s when the stepmother went ballistic and the father got physical. It’s sad that he was kicked out, but let’s be real, he’s 20 years old not 15. If you’re gay and living with homophobe parents you start getting your shit together beginning at 16 when you can start working. I think @Dxley is a bit harsh, but i agree with him that parents have the right to set rules in their house. My parents have a lot of rules and i respected them enough to not break them while under their roof, which is why I followed my older siblings example and moved out at 18. Even when shit hit the fan and i moved back in with them when i was 26, i complied by their rules because it was their house. We were able to find a happy medium and i stayed for 2 years. $95,000 seems like so much money that can be better invested in local teen shelters (lgbt or not) not just on a 20 year old guy.
Mr. Pierce, Keep every dime that was donated to you. If the donors had wanted funds allocated, they would have said so. Find a fiduciary money planner, as fiduciaries are held to a different standard. They’re like your lawyer, they have to protect you and your money. Regular brokers try to make money off of your money, whereas, fiduciary planners protect it. Sock it away and try not to tap into it if you can avoid it. Go to school and know that you have escaped. Sorry for the loss of everyone in this circumstance. Good luck to you.
Reading the hateful comments posted on that video on youtube makes me happy to be gay and part of the gay community.
@schwma: I agree with you. Donating would be a nice gesture but if he’s working from the ground up, I’m sure he could find other ways to pay it forward.
@stranded: Thanks for summing up the various things that make me uneasy about this case. I’m still not entirely convinced that it’s not a hoax. Btw he’s suddenly and mysteriously 19, not 20 – I still haven’t heard an explanation for that. Maybe somebody told him 19 sounds better?
Assuming this is a true story, there seems to be a cultural, generational shift here that I find distasteful. Millennials tend to expect their parents to be “bff’s” and when that unrealistic and ridiculous expectation is not met, they feel horribly aggrieved and unfairly treated. A lot of the comments feed into this mawkish sentiment.
Also, $95,000 is a staggering, almost obscene amount of money. As you point out, why aren’t these misguided people donating to LGBT teen (underage) shelters, instead of to a 19 year old adult, who should have figured out how to leave his crazy parents about a year ago anyway?
$95K is a drop in the bucket. If a 19 year old socked away the max on an IRA annually, $1,600,000. would accrue by the time they were 65. If they start in their 30’s, expect approximately $600,000.(+) That’s nearly a million dollar difference for having started later. This 95K would really bump that number up if the lad isn’t so foolish as to blow it early. Go to school, earn more and then donate from a place of financial security. Self-esteem may play into this and the kid should not fall into that web. Fiduciary planner, school, IRA annually, and be productive. Of course help others too, but just as airlines say to parents, put oxygen on yourself first, then your children….
Daniel use the money for college………better yourself, educate yourself. 🙂
@onthemark: I was thinking it might be a hoax, but i give people the benefit of the doubt. The lesbian waitress who made up the no tip note, the drunk guy who made up the phony gay bashing story. In these cases the person worked alone. Unless this whole family is made up of awful greedy people, i don’t think the video is fake. I use to be doubtful with videos, but everyone has a camera phone, the majority of people under 30 film or photograph themselves multiple times a day. I will believe the video is real and i’m sorry for him, but my heart’s not bleeding for him either. LOL on the bff parents btw; so true.
@Dxley: so, the parents are always right, and the kid toes the line…
So my parents were brilliant professionals, well-respected in their professions. At home, they were drunk, physically violent and sexually predatory. So I’m supposed to live by those rules of arrant expression of uncontrolled anger?
This young man has parents who are toxic wastelands of anger, bitterness and marginally contained rage. He owes them nothing…. nada, zip, zilch, zero. Their anger at his biologic reality is bizarrely ill-informed, and it is NOT his responsiblity to either hide who he is or strive to change them.
I applaud this remarkable young man’s ability to change his frame of reference, and to understand that his life has changed instantly. Hope he continues to be true to himself….. find a path and move forward
As for me, I confess that I used my parents’ money for my first degree, paid for the next three on my own. Moved far, far, far away and never looked back. They died bathed in hostility, bitterness and booze
@stranded: You say he should have worked on moving out because they are homophobic except he came out last year, and they seemed ok with it.
@Black Pegasus: “Of course he could give into the pressures of gay culture and become a club queen and spend all his money on Prada and nose candy.. ” Thanks for showing us that gay people (assuming that you’re gay) can be as bigoted, judgmental and prone to making sweeping generalizations about the LGBT community as straights. Well done.
Vonric, that sounds like a happy ending to me!
Gigi Gee, I hear what you are saying about Black Pegasus’ comment, however, his overall comments are very pro-gay and intelligent. This one comment focused on irony and it didn’t go over that well. (they can’t all be weeeners!) BP is hip.
@onthemark: in the video you can hear his mom or the other female say the phrase “last 20 years of your life” though they may have just rounded up to the nearest decade in the high emotion of the moment. before he was identified, they may have assumed he was 20 because of that. And then he may have corrected their statement with his real age. simple as that. I’m not saying this is definitely not a hoax, but it seems pretty dang real to me. sometimes people recording situations like this seem like they could be faked or staged, but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt. I do the same thing before I get into situations that could turn ugly: I turn on the sound recording or video recording option of my ipod. so that in case it get REAL ugly, I have evidence to back me up. as long as nothing happens to the device before I need to use it.
He’ll prob have to pay capital gains tax.. Who knows these days lol.
Who knows if the video is real? Maybe it’s all just a well acted scam, and they
Are all now sipping Martinis in Palm Springs
@SilverRayne: Thanks for the explanation.
But gee – I live a more placid life than I realized. Where are you always running into these potentially ugly scenes? At the dry cleaners?
@1EqualityUSA: thank you for explaining that to GiGi Gee. 🙂
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