Having read the above, I consider it a gerund because it is used after 'by', a preposition.
Student or Learner
In this sentence is crying a gerund or a participle?
His sister didn't help by crying out, "Mom's coming to see how your room looks!"
Welcome to the forum, emmybb3.
I have changed your thread title.
Extract from the Posting Guidelines:
'Thread titles should include all or part of the word/phrase being discussed.'