WATCH: Teen From Disturbing Video Explains How It Started
In his first on-camera interview, the teen who posted a disturbing video of his parents attacking him for being gay says the heated conversation actually started over whether he should "pray it away."
Daniel Pierce, the 19-year-old Georgia college student, said he had already come out to his parents almost a year ago and was disagreeing with them about reparative therapy when "I just hit record."
"I just know that I did it for my protection," he told WXIA-TV, "and then it kind of all went from there."
The video, titled on YouTube as "How not to react when your child tells you that he's gay," continues to rack up plays since being posted on Wednesday and has nearly crossed the 4 million mark.
When Dr. Drew Pinsky asked Pierce to call into his Headline News show and discuss the video, a so-called reparative therapist was also invited. Pinsky acknowledged that he is concerned by those who try to change a person's sexual orientation but still welcomed David Pickup to the program, insisting that his view, while controversial, was worth hearing.
Video of the segment featuring Pickup is not available through the show's website, though a transcript of the conversation is available via CNN.
In the often-tense exchange, Pickup says he is an "ex-gay" man and claims that he treats patients who want to uncover their "inner-most" heterosexuality, claiming that 99 percent of his clients are "heterosexual, and they've gotten off-track, and they heal these wounds and homosexuality feelings."
As Pinsky's panelists noted, every major medical and mental health organization in the country has denounced efforts to change a person's sexual orientation, with the American Psychological Association declaring the practice harmful. Lawmakers in California and New Jersey have outlawed licensed therapists from using the debunked practice on minors.
Because the video auto-plays with sound, watch the most recent interview with Pierce on the following page:
Watch the most recent interview with Pierce below:
Sunnivie Brydum contributed to this report.