Comedian Rick Mercer believes much of the bullying of young gay people could be prevented if more prominent gay Canadians publicly came out.

Mercer appeared on CBC Radio's The Current with Anna-Maria Tremonti on Thursday and discussed his life as a gay man, and his call on The Rick Mercer Report this week for more gay adults to act as role models for gay teens.

Mercer recorded his rant following the death of 15-year-old Jamie Hubley, a gay Ottawa teenager who committed suicide after being bullied.

The rant has gone viral since it was posted online.

Mercer told Tremonti that he wasn't openly gay when he was in high school.

"This is like this new animal: these kids who are coming out in high school."

"Jamie Hubley was 15 years old. Any chance that he had to have someone to look up to as an example was obviously very important."

In his rant, Mercer said he knows police officers, soldiers and cabinet ministers who are gay.

"I don't believe in outing people.… It's up to the individual, but there's nothing wrong putting the pressure on," he told Tremonti.