Ellen Page, Kehlani, Laverne Cox pay tribute to 9-year-old victim of homophobic bullying

Fri. August 31, 2018 2:23 PM by Carlos Santoscoy

Kehlani, Laverne Cox and Ellen Page are among the out celebrities paying tribute to a 9-year-old boy who took his own life after he was bullied at school.

According to Jamel Myles' mother, Leia Pierce, her son came out to him over the summer and told her that he planned on coming out to his classmates.

"He went to school and said he was gonna tell people he's gay because he's proud of himself," Pierce told local television station KDVR-TV.

Pierce found her son dead at their home four days after he began school at Denver's Joe Shoemaker Elementary School.

Singer-songwriter Kehlani, who has said she identifies as queer, said in a tweet that the lessons of Myles' death were "clear."

"jamel myles' confidence, pride, and eagerness to share his new found freedom with is parents and then classmates at 9 years old is beautiful and hope that is the memory celebrated continuously. rest in peace little warrior. the lessons here are clear," Kehlani messaged.

Actress Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black) added that such bullying has to stop: "This has to stop happening. It just must stop. Our bullying culture is killing children. #JamelMyles."

Ellen Page, who in January announced she is married, said in a tweet that Myles' story broke her heart.

"I have traveled around the country & the world & have been witness 2 hope & joy but also deep pain & horror. This needs to change. I'm sad & angry but trying 2 keep my her warm & open 2 continue 2 strive 2 help eradicate this suffering [heart emoji]," Page said, referring to her television travel series Gaycation.

In a video, Pierce said that she blamed herself for her son's suicide.

"I feel responsible because as a mother I should have felt his pain," Pierce said. "I should have [known] he was hurt, and I didn't. I feel responsible because I didn't see the pain in my baby's eyes."

A fundraising campaign to raise a modest $2,000 to help cover funeral costs has raised more than $5,000 in just two days.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine