(CNN) - For Joey Kemmerling, it was his decision to reveal his sexual orientation that triggered relentless bullying at school.
"I came out of the closet as gay in eighth grade and ever since I've been bullied. I was, for lack of a better word, and still am, the school faggot," the 16-year-old Joey recently told CNN's Anderson Cooper.
The Pennsylvania native said his decision to come out to classmates not only evoked a firestorm of vicious taunts but also led to a threat on his life.
"There was a point where a kid had a knife on school premises and said, 'I'm going to kill him. I want that faggot dead.' And I had to transfer schools," Joey said.
The bullying persisted outside of school, both online and on the street. His mother, Joyce Mundy, said beyond her son being bullied online, she had to file a police report after two boys followed Joey on his walk home, making threatening comments the entire way.
Joey and seven other teens recently spoke to Cooper about the harsh realities of bullying. All eight youngsters said they were not surprised by the recent rash of headlines about suicides of apparent bullying victims.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with