Yesterday, Daniel Ashley Pierce thought his biggest problem was being late to work. Little did he know he’d end up being beaten by his grandmother and stepmother and kicked out of his family home. The 20-year-old Georgia man caught it all on tape.
The following video is very difficult to watch, and includes expletives, violence and slurs. As horrific as it is to watch, it’s equally important to see. If you can’t imagine a family turning against a young person for being gay, watch as Pierce’s grandmother and stepmother condemn him for his lifestyle, insist he’s made a choice and tell him he has to move out. Pierce titled this video simply, “How not to react when your child tells you that he’s gay.”
“You have chosen that path. We will not support you any longer. You will need to move out and find wherever you can to live, and do what you want to. Because I will not let people believe that I condone what you do,” Pierce’s stepmother can be heard saying over the span of five harrowing minutes.
As they argue, tempers rise. “To add insult to injury, my stepmother punched me in the face repeatedly with my grandmother cheering her along,” Pierce wrote on Facebook after sharing the video. “I am still in complete shock and disbelief.”
This devastating confrontation has a silver lining thanks to supporters who watched Pierce’s video. Within hours a fundraising page was set up to help him with his living expenses. Over $20,000 has been raised. Perhaps even more moving than the donated money are the comments supporting Pierce.
“No one should be treated that way especially by their parents, I’m so sorry that this happened to you Daniel, you are a wonderful person with a bright future in front of you that is full of people that love and respect you!” writes Clara Robertson.
Your life is a gift, so don’t let the foolishness of religion and their fabricated rules ever bring you down to their level of hatred and delusion,” writes Phil Giralte.
“Wish this money would change more than it does and help in more ways than it can,” writes Katherine Leary. “There are lots of people out there who have your back. I sincerely hope that one day, this will have just been an ugly speed bump in the road to real family and real love”
Over 350 supporters have left Pierce messages of love and support. Hopefully Pierce, who studies Business Administration at Georgia Highlands College, can move forward in life with support and love he didn’t receive from his parents.