Kehlani & Hayley Kiyoko Mourn the Loss of 9-Year-Old Boy Who Killed Himself After Homophobic Bullying

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Photo from Leia Rochelle Facebook
Jamel Myles

A 9-year-old Denver boy took his own life last week after homophobic bullying from his classmates, and celebrities and activists are mourning his death.

Jamel Myles, a fourth-grader at Shoemaker Elementary School, came out to his classmates on the first day of school, Aug. 20. His mother, Leia Pierce, told Denver TV station KDVR that he came out to her this summer and was scared of her response. “He was like, 'Mom I'm gay.' And I thought he was playing, so I looked back because I was driving, and he was all curled up, so scared. And I said, I still love you,” she said to KDVR.

After coming out to his classmates at the start of the school year, Myles reportedly faced cruel taunts from his peers for being gay. "Four days is all it took at school. I could just imagine what they said to him," Pierce said. "My son told my oldest daughter the kids at school told him to kill himself. I'm just sad he didn't come to me."

The Denver Coroner’s Office ruled earlier this week that Myles died by suicide, reports The Denver Post.

Queer celebrities, activists and allies took to Twitter to express their condolences and outrage at the devastating loss. See some of the tweets below:

If you or a loved one are experiencing thoughts of suicide or other personal crises, there are safe, free resources available to guide you through difficult periods. Contact the Trevor Project's TrevorLifeLine at 1-866-488-7386, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK, or the Crisis Text Line at 741741.