Celebrities are coming out in droves after the tragic death of 9-year-old Jamel Myles. The fourth grader, who recently came out as gay, took his life after reportedly being bullied in school.
Jamel's mother Leia Pierce opened up about how her son came out to her in a statement to CBS News. "He looked so scared when he told me. 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.’"
Pierce revealed that her young son was excited to come out to his classmates and talked about dressing in a more feminine way.
Despite the outpouring of support from his family, Jamel took his own life less than a week after he entered the fourth grade at Joe Shoemaker Elementary. "Four days is all it took at school. I could just image what they said to him... 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," his mother said.
With news of Jamel Myles' death touching hearts around the world, a GoFundMe has been created in his honor.
The Denver Public School District released a statement about Jamel Myles' death. "At DPS, we are deeply committed to ensuring that all members of the school community are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or transgender status... Our formal policies and practices reflect this commitment to ensuring that our LGBTQ+ students can pursue their education with dignity — from policies and training to prevent and stop bullying to formal policies and guidance materials that fully respect gender identity (including use of preferred pronouns and restrooms),” the statement read.
Social media has been filled with heartfelt tributes made in remembrance of the 9-year-old. See reactions to Jamel Myles' death below:
jamel myles’ confidence, pride, and eagerness to share his new found freedom with his parents and then classmates at 9 years old is beautiful and hope that is the memory celebrated continuously. rest in peace little warrior.— Kehlani (@Kehlani) August 28, 2018
the lessons here are clear.
This has to stop happening. It just must stop. Our bullying culture is killing children. #JamelMyles— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) August 28, 2018
"A 9-year-old boy died by suicide after being bullied for coming out as gay" https://t.co/BlrS7BqBxK
1989. 4th grade. 9 yrs old. First time a fellow male classmate shamed me by saying “stop being so gay.” I didn’t know who I was then. Jamel did. He was gay. And he was proud, until he wasn’t. My heart aches. #JamelMyles https://t.co/Lp1i8n5KJb— Steven Canals (@StevenCanals) August 28, 2018
This BREAKS MY HEART. People need to understand the power of their words. Wow. I’m so sorry for him and his family. https://t.co/YTvQMPgsfB— Hayley Kiyoko (@HayleyKiyoko) August 28, 2018
Meet 9 y.o. #JamelMyles. This summer he came out to his mom as gay. Then, he went back to school, 4th grd. The bullying came quickly. His mom said, “My son told my oldest daughter the kids at school told him to kill himself.” On the 4th day he did just that. I’m so sick of this! pic.twitter.com/ivhYf9qK3j— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) August 28, 2018
The news re #JamelMyles broke my 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 heart warm & open 2 continue 2 strive 2 help eradicate this suffering. ❤️— Ellen Page (@EllenPage) August 28, 2018
A nine year old boy took his own life. A NINE YEAR OLD. A child going into the fourth grade felt compelled to END his LIFE due to the ignorance and bullying of his peers. Jamel Myles. Nine years old. Remember his name. This cannot happen again.— Posh Spice (@notquiche) August 29, 2018
(Photo By Leia Pierce/Facebook)