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Spurned gay teen in viral video paying it forward in a big way

AJ Willingham

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Social Media Editor

AJ Willingham is a social media editor/trending writer who loves animals, sports, the outdoors, good books, good music, and braiding hair. She lives in Atlanta, GA.

Young gay man who was disowned on video by family is funding change

When Georgia teen Daniel Pierce secretly taped himself being disowned by his family after coming out as gay, he received thousands in donations. Now he's turning his horribly negative situation into something good.

Pierce's video, which features an ugly scuffle with family, quickly went viral, and the teen received widespread support. While some of it was emotional — from friends and strangers alike — Pierce also received, by one count, upward of $100,000 to help with his living costs.

VIDEO: Support pours in for young gay man beaten and kicked out by family

According to an Atlanta news station, Pierce has used some of that money for an even greater cause — to help set up a homeless center for gay teens.

Lost-N-Found Youth is an organization that serves as a safe haven for Atlanta-area LGBT youth. According to its site, the organization has been "working closely" with Pierce and is currently serving as his media liaison. CBS46 reports that Lost-N-Found has planned to convert an old building into a homeless shelter for LGBT youth, and they are being greatly helped along by $10,000 in diverted donations from Pierce.

"Daniel is an incredibly bright and courageous young man," executive director Rick Westbrook told CBS46. "He is the epitome of who Lost-N-Found is here to serve." They say Pierce has also asked friends and allies to stop donating to his personal fund and donate directly to Lost-N-Found instead.

With money still coming in, the center is expected to open in the spring of 2015.

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