A Denver mom says her 9-year-old son died by suicide in their home on Thursday after experiencing bullying in school. She is now sharing the story in hopes of shining a light on bullying and suicide, CBS Denver reports.

“I lost a reason to breathe… my heart, my sunshine, my son… he was being bullied and i didnt know. Not till it was to late,” Leia Pierce wrote in a Facebook post Friday.

Pierce says bullying was a factor in the death of her son, Jamel Myles, who started fourth grade just last week. Over the summer, Jamel came out to his mother as gay, she said. “(H)e 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 told KDVR-TV.

Jamel wanted to tell his classmates at Joe Shoemaker Elementary School. “He went to school and said he was going tell people he’s gay because he’s proud of himself,” the mother said.

She said when her son came out, he also opened up about wanting to dress more femininely. Pierce said her son told her, “I know you buy me boy stuff because I’m a boy, but I’d rather dress like a girl.”

Just four days after starting school last week and coming out to his classmates, Jamel took his own life. Pierce told KDVR that bullying was a factor.

“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.”

[more at cbsnews.com]