The 20-year old who secretly recorded a conversation with his parents -- who disowned, hit, swore at him, and chose the Bible over him -- has been identified. Here's what we know.
Daniel Ashley Pierce from Georgia posted a video to his Facebook page Tuesday. That video, which was later posted to Reddit and YouTube, has gone viral, with almost 850,000 views in just two days. It depicts his family's response to him coming out. In the video, Daniel's mother says she knew since he was "a tiny little boy" that he is gay, but she also say that he has "made a choice" to be gay.
Daniel's boyfriend set up a GoFundMe page to help Daniel with living expenses. The New Civil Rights Movement has been told by a person in touch with Daniel that he is safe, living with a trusted relative, and he's "overwhelmed" by all that's happened.
The video begins with a woman, possibly Daniel's mother, saying, "Daniel, I want to tell you before I say anything else, that I love you."
"You can deny it all you want to," the woman continues, "but I believe in the word of God, and God creates nobody that way," Daniel's mother tells him. "It's a path that you have chosen to choose."
Daniel, who is 20, talks about his biology and psychology classes. He tells his family he believes that "scientific proof trumps the word of God."
"You go by all the scientific stuff you want to," she responds. "I'm going by the word of God."
The woman then says, "we will not support you any longer."
"You will need to move out, and find wherever you can to live," she adds. "Because I will not let people believe that I condone what you do."
As the exchange heats up, there sounds like a slap, the camera is jarred, and Daniel says, "You're not going to fucking hit me."
Someone else says, "Son of a bitch," and it sounds like a physical altercation is underway.
Daniel is called "a damn queer," "a disgrace," and "a little piece of shit."
Someone, likely a woman, says, "I'll beat you..."
In the end, the family disowns Daniel, some members appear to get physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive, and they hide behind their Bible.
In an email, Daniel told the Huffington Post today why he started to record the video. "I wanted to make sure there was evidence in case something happened."
The Huffington Post adds that Daniel "came out as gay last October. At the time, his father was unresponsive and his stepmother seemed supportive. However, things took a turn for the worse Wednesday when Pierce found himself a part of what he describes as a 'delayed intervention' involving his father, stepmother and grandparents. He apparently captured footage of the interaction on camera."
"Their reaction was pretty much expected [once] I chose to leave instead of pray because they have always been very vocal about not supporting the gay lifestyle," he told HuffPost. "My [stepmother's] reaction was the most surprising and hurtful."
The family members involved in the intervention, which he says was "driven by my grandparents," have not contacted the media, but they left Pierce a voicemail telling him to remove the video of the incident from YouTube. Pierce also says he did not contact police over the apparent altercation in the video.
Daniel's boyfriend posted the video to Reddit. A friend of Daniel's posted it to YouTube, and Dan Savage posted it on his blog, followed by Joe.My.God. and The New Civil Rights Movement. Soon after other sites, including the Backlot and The Advocate, had published it as well.
Here's the video again.
(Caution: trigger warning.)
And here's the GoFundMe page Daniel's boyfriend set up for him. Daniel now has control of the page we're told, and we have been told he will be the one who gets all the proceeds from the page, which currently stand at over $23,000.
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.
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