Over $90,000 has been donated to a disowned gay teen after a video of his parents and family verbally, and apparently physically, attacking and berating him went viral. However, Daniel, the teen in the video, says fund-raising wasn’t his intention.
Daniel told the local CBS News affiliate that his first intention was to protect himself. He knew his family was coming over to confront him about being gay, and feared how the event might go. He thought recording the intervention might offer him some protection. Later, he uploaded the video to the internet because he says people aren’t aware of how hard, and dangerous, it can sometimes be for a gay teen to come out.
The video is below, but be warned that it may be offensive to some viewers: it contains strong, harsh language, and the sounds of a physical altercation.
After the story was first reported, Pierce received many requests for a way for supporters to donate. He set up a GoFundMe page, but was clearly overwhelmed with the generosity of supporters; it took only three days for more than $90k to be donated to the disowned teen.
Now the teen is asking that any further funds be donated not to him, but to an organization he credits with helping him through the trial.
Lost-n-Found Youth is a nonprofit based in Atlanta, and its mission is to help LGBT youth who’ve been disowned or otherwise become homeless. They offer a place to stay for up to 90 days, as well as meals, counseling, and connection to health services, including STD testing. They also help disowned youth find access to job training, education, and housing.
Lost-n-Found says that 53 percent of the youth (up to age 26) they help each year are disowned by their parents after coming out as gay, and that within 48 hours of being disowned and becoming homeless, as many as one third of youth turn to risky pursuits such as prostitution and theft in order to survive.
The organization also cites estimates that there are as many as 750 LGBT-identified youth seeking shelter to sleep each night in Atlanta alone, and that perhaps 40 percent of homeless teens are gay, bi, or transgender.
It’s an obvious choice for Daniel to suggest, and laudable for him to seek to help others as he’s been helped. Any funds donated to Lost-n-Found will help other disowned gay teens find productive, safe lives, rather than a dangerous existence on the street.