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.

"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."

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.

"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."