19-year-old Daniel Pierce attacked and disowned by family. (x)
Daniel Pierce, 19, was attacked and disowned by his family in Georgia months after coming out. The teen referred to the incident as a “pray the gay away intervention” and a friend uploaded video of the attack on YouTube.
Pierce came out to his family last October and believed his stepmother was supportive at the time. Months later, things were very different when his father, grandparents, stepmother and her sister held an intervention.
“I thought for myself, for my own protection if something were to happen it would be best to have it on video,” Pierce told 11Alive News. “I just 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.”
What followed was a disturbing verbal and physical attack that has gained over 3 million views on YouTube. Pierce was told that his sexuality is a choice and his father called him “a disgrace.”
“The video was not posted for people to attack them. They are still my family and they are in my heart but what happened in that video is very hurtful,” he said.
Pierce’s boyfriend began a GoFundMe account to cover his living expenses. The account has reached over $88,000 in just two days after Pierce hoped it would reach $2,000. He says he will donate some of the money to “Lost and Found Youth” and other LGBT support groups. Pierce says he set up counseling sessions and is staying in the care of a friend he calls his “chosen family.”
“What I hope people take away from watching that is it still happens,” Pierce said. “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 watches it and maybe changes their mind in how they are going to handle it about their son or daughter coming out, I will be happy.”