COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Hundreds of candles burned Wednesday night in memory of five bullied youth, all either gay or questioning their sexuality, who in recent weeks have taken their own lives.
Seeing the teens on the news who committed suicide, it hurts deep down inside because I was there just a few years ago, says Justin Wise.
Wise, 22, says he was harassed throughout grade school, but now he's taking a stand.
Wise was one of the speakers at the candlelight vigil held outside the front steps of the state house, which focused on the message it gets better.
We are out here to show those kids we are here, and you have a support system, says SC Pride member Jennifer Tague.
Many of the attendees were wearing purple, because the color on the LGBT flag represents spirit.
When you put a face out there and you talk about an incident people react, says Elke Kennedy, whose son died in 2007 from a hate crime.