Last night on HLN's "Dr. Drew" show, one panelist says he showed the viral video of a Georgia 20-year old coming out to his homophobic, religious parents, and it saved a life of an LGBT youth.
After more than 2.2 million views in less than two full days, a video made by Daniel Ashley Pierce has gone viral. That five-minute video is the culmination of a Christian family's homophobia, and the night they chose to unleash it on their 19 or 20-year old son, Daniel, after his several coming out attempts.
"Daniel, I want to tell you before I say anything else, that I love you."
Probably every LGBT child of deeply religious parents has heard that line when they tried to come out, or one similar, before.
And they've likely heard what comes next.
"You can deny it all you want to but I believe in the word of God, and God creates nobody that way. It's a path that you have chosen to choose."
"You will need to move out, and find wherever you can to live. Because I will not let people believe that I condone what you do."
That's what Daniel heard this week, as he secretly recorded the tail end of his coming out conversation with his family.
And then the verbal abuse.
"Son of a bitch."
"A little piece of shit."
And then the physical abuse.
Not all religious families are like this. Those who truly follow the word of whatever God they pray to shouldn't be, since religions, or most of them, are supposed to be about love. And hopefully, the vast, vast majority of religious families are not like this. But 40 percent of America's 1.8 to 2.6 million homeless teen population is LGBT, and there's a reason for that.
Daniel put the video on his Facebook page. A friend posted it to YouTube. His boyfriend posted it to Reddit.
Dan Savage and many others posted it their sites.
A GoFundMe page was set up for Daniel. It now stands with over $65,000 from about 2500 generous and caring people.
And Dr. Drew talked to Daniel last night.
Below, two clips of the conversation, with Dr. Drew, Daniel, and a man we assume is Daniel's boyfriend, David. (The names seem to have been switched.) And, of course, Dr. Drew's panelists, including Karamo Brown.
"I work with LGBT youth daily," Brown says at the end of the segment. "As an LGBT man, I'm going to let you now today I showed your story and your video to kids, and you did save someone's life. You're my hero -- keep up that courage. You're doing great work."
It's important to note that there are others doing great work too. When Daniel was disowned by his family, through a friend he turned to the folks at Lost N Found Youth, who work with LGBT youth to help them into permanent housing. They were able to help Daniel, guide him, and offer him support he needed. Via email they tell The New Civil Rights Movement "Lost N Found and it's legal resources are helping to set up a trust fund for him."
Here's part one of the Dr. Drew segment:
Here's part two:
Here's the full video for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.
Please remember, if you are an LGBT child or teen in need of help, the National Runaway Switchboard at 1-800-RUNAWAY can help you. The Ali Forney Center has a local and national LGBT youth online resource guide. In the Atlanta, Georgia area Lost-n-Found Youth serves LGBT homeless youth. They're also on Facebook.
Image via Facebook and used with permission.