When David Ashley-Pierce came out to his Christian parents, they disowned him. The terrible argument was captured in the video above.
But now, thanks to overwhelming support online, the 20-year-old from Kennesaw, Georgia, can finally be himself.
Here’s what you need to know about Pierce, his ordeal, and the silver lining.
2. His Heartbreaking Video Went Viral
For some reason, Pierce decided to record his parents’ confronting him about his sexual orientation. The video has been viewed 2 million times on YouTube.
In the video, Pierce’s mother says:
Since 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 you want to. I will not let people believe I condone what you do.
It escalates from there, with Pierce being called “a damned queer” and then being physically attacked.
His mother says she knew he was gay since he was a little boy, but she still believes he’s gay by choice.
His mother maintains, “You know you wasn’t born this way.”
2. A Go Fund Me Page for Him Raised $60,000
After news of Pierce’s ordeal spread online, a Go Fund Me page was set up in his honor. At the time of writing, the page has raised $60,000 for him to start a new life. The latest update on the page reads:
Oh My you guys! I am in tears! I didn’t realize that this was even set up for me! I am so thankful for all the comments, support and donations! I don’t even know how to thank y’all! I wish I could give each and everyone of you a huge hug! I was trying to respond to everyone but I couldn’t keep up!! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! This is all just so amazing!!!
Thank You from the bottom of my heart!!
The page has been shared 20,000 times on social media.
4. The Video Highlights the Age Old Debate Between Science & Religion
During the viral video, Pierce says he’s studied biology and psychology, and there’s scientific evidence that sexual orientation is determined shortly after or even before birth.
His mother is not interested in scientific proof, preferring the truths of the Bible.
“Scientific proof trumps the word of God,” he says.
3. He Just Started College
According to his Facebook page, Pierce has just started studying business administration at George Highlands College. His page describes him as a fan of the University of Alabama’s sports teams. Among his other likes is openly gay UK athlete Tom Daley.
5. In Addition to Funding, Pierce Has Seen an Outpouring of Support
Pierce’s Go Fund Me page was set up by his boyfriend. It has been drenched in encouraging support for Pierce and other people in his position.