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.