Ellen DeGeneres Speaks Out Against Teen Bullying

Entertainment Oct. 2, 2010 AT 12:09PM

For comedian Ellen DeGeneres, teenage bullying is no laughing matter.

The talk show host is speaking out after 18-year-old Rutgers student Tyler Clementi became the fourth teenager to commit suicide as a result of being bullied.

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"This needs to be a wake up call to everyone that teenage bullying and teasing is an epidemic in this country and the death rate is climbing," Degeneres says. "Being a teenager is hard enough without someone attacking you."

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DeGeneres, 52, can certainly relate to how the teens felt; before publicly coming out of the closet on the cover of Time in 1997, she too was bullied for her sexuality.

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"I want anyone out there who feels different and alone to know that I know how you feel, and there is help out there," she says. "Things will get easier, people's minds will change, and you should be allowed to see it."

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