Tammy Aaberg still gets choked up when she talks about her 15-year-old son, Justin Aaberg, an Anoka High School student who committed suicide in July.

But that hasn't stopped her from speaking out to try and prevent others from going through the same tragedy her family has faced.

Aaberg spoke alongside Sen. Al Franken at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol today advocating for two anti-bullying bills in Congress, including Franken's Student Non-Discrimination Act.

Franken and Aaberg shared the podium with several other anti-bullying advocates in Congress, as well as Dancing with the Stars' Louis Van Amstel and American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken.

Aaberg told the story of her son, who was bullied at his school for being gay, and her efforts to change his school's approach to bullying. In October, Aaberg helped persuade the Anoka-Hennepin School District to adopt language in its anti-bullying policies that includes sexual orientation and gender identity.

"I think she's very courageous and I find what she's doing very moving," said Franken. "It's got to be very hard to take an unspeakable tragedy like that and try to turn it into something. To try to achieve something positive is a real testament to her and her son and her family."

Aaberg has never been a public speaker, and it's still hard to talk about what happened with her son, she said. Still, she has no plans to slow down.

"I will keep speaking out wherever anyone will let me," she said after the press conference.

The anti-bullying bills aren't likely to be taken up during the lame duck session, and next year's congressional makeup will make the terrain more difficult.

Thanks to a busy congressional schedule, Thursday's press conference was held on the House side of the Capitol in the Rayburn Office Building, which led to an unexpected encounter for the Minnesota senator. When an elevator door opened en route to the House subway, Rep. Jim Oberstar was standing inside.

The two men rode the subway together to the House office buildings. No word on what was discussed.