Pop star Lance Bass used to bully gay students when he was growing up in a bid to hide his own sexuality.
The openly gay former 'Nsync star is rallying against youngsters who target homosexual teens following a string of recent suicides in America.
But Bass has shocked fans by revealing he can empathise with the bullies as well as the victims, because he is guilty of picking on other kids while he was at school.
In an interview with Larry King, the newsman asked, "You made fun of gay kids in high school to hide your own secret?", while Bass replied, "That's right".
He adds, "When you're 13, 14, you just go along with what the other people are doing. You just want to fit in. You want to make sure that your friends like you. So yeah, you're going to crack jokes, you're going to laugh along with it. And when you're a teenager, you're not really thinking, 'Oh, I'm being a bully by laughing along with it.'
"You think, 'Okay, a bully's just someone that can physically go and harm someone for being short, for being black, white, whatever'.
"But you know, you're also a bully by condoning the behaviour and making the jokes along with them... I mean... it's definitely to impress your friends... I think that's the main reason people do bully, is to look cool in front of your friends. But you've just got to realise you're not being cool at all. I mean, it's the stupidest thing to do."
And Bass is urging gay youngsters to stay strong: "They don't realise that in a few years that all goes away. It all gets so much better... You will leave those people behind and they won't have anything to do with (your) life... Life gets so much better."
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