MIAMI – A video shows the moments a 20-year-old Georgia man came out to his parents and things became violent.
The video has already garnered millions of views after only being online for one day. A fund has now been set up to help him start a new life.
It's a five-minute clip called "How not to react when your child tells you he is gay" and while it is difficult to watch, those who work with gay and lesbian teens said the scene plays out in homes across American homes every day.
Daniel Pierce, 20, secretly filmed the moment he came out to his family in a small town in Georgia. He told them he is gay and his family told him to get out.
Local 10's Kristi Krueger watched the YouTube video with Victor Diaz-Herman from Pridelines, a group serving the needs of South Florida's gay and lesbian youth. Although uncomfortable to watch, he feels the video opens up an important conversation.
"I think above all it creates awareness, what our young people face when they come out to their families," said Diaz-Herman.
In the U.S., studies show 40 percent of homeless youths are gay, lesbian or transgender, kicked out of their homes like Pierce, who faced verbal abuse and violence that involved his stepmother, father and grandmother.
Diaz-Herman said there are groups that guide youths and support families in the coming-out process, but too often that conversation ends in this kind of confrontation.
"The hitting is painful to watch, but what I think is most painful is when the father calls his son a disgrace," said Diaz-Herman.
After a friend posted the video on YouTube, Pierce's boyfriend set up a GoFundMe account to help cover living expenses. Already, more than $82,000 in donations have come in.
Locally, Pridelines is involved in something called "Project Safe: Safe accommodations for everyone" to help gay, lesbian and transgender youths get off the streets.