Daniel Pierce, the gay teen who filmed
an “intervention” organized by his family to “pray away the
gay,” says he lived in fear of coming out.
In his first nationally televised
interview since his YouTube video went viral – more than 4.6
million views as of Sunday – Pierce said he lived in fear of coming
out to his family.
The 19-year-old Georgia college student
explained to HLN's Dr. Drew Pinsky that he had come out to his
parents almost a year ago and that he was aware that his family was
preparing to confront him.
the 5-minute clip, Daniel's grandmother says he's being disowned,
his mother physically assaults him and his father calls him a
“It was expected,” he said. “There
was some suspicious phone calls within the few minutes leading up to
it that gave me the impression that that's what was going to happen.”
“You mean that there was going to be
an ambush of some type?” Pinsky asked.
“I feared something was going to
“Had they been so vocal in their
condemnation of you before this?”
“My dad has,” Pierce answered.
“There were indirect comments made [on] the topic in general, but
never towards me.”
“And so, you knew they were not happy
with having a gay young man in their family. Did you ever think
about not coming out to them?”
“Oh yes,” Pierce replied. “I
lived in fear of coming out to them.”
GoFundMe.com campaign to help Pierce with an initial goal of
$2,000 has raised nearly $95,000 in just 3 days.
Pierce said he planned to give a
portion of the money back to “the cause.”
“I want[ed] to bring awareness to
this. That this is still happening. If it saves one kid the misery
of what I went through, I will be satisfied,” he added. (A portion
of the segment is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)