Professional dancer O’Shae Sibley was stabbed for voguing at a gas station near Coney Island on Saturday (29 July).
He was found with a stab wound in the abdomen at a Mobil gas station in Midwood at around 11:15pm on the same evening.
Emergency services transported him to Maimondes Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to Gothamist.
The incident is currently being investigated by the NYPD task force for hate crimes.
Witnesses claimed that the dancer was verbally abused with slurs by a group of men who allegedly said that Sibley’s dancing ‘offended their faith,’ before one of them stabbed him.
Law enforcement forces have identified the suspect as a teenager, who remains at large, reported NBC.
O’Shae Sibley was a beloved member of New York’s gay community
The 28-year-old is remembered by those who knew him as an accomplished dancer, choreographer and activist.
Sibley had moved to New York three years prior, from his native Philadelphia, to pursue his dream of becoming a professional dancer.
A passionate LGBTQ+ advocate, he joined an all-queer dance collective organised by Kemar Jewel for a 2020 project called ‘Vogue 4 #BlackLivesMatter’.
“O’Shae has always been a peacemaker,” one of his aunts told The New York Times. “All he wanted to do was dance.”
Residents of the neighbourhood claimed that it was a typically safe area, and that crimes such as this are unusual.
Otis Pena, one of Sibley’s closest friends asserted: “We as a community don’t deserve this,” also speaking to The New York Times.
“We may be gay, but we exist. We’re not going to live in fear. We’re not going to live hiding.”
Though New York’s queer community is unnerved, their enduring resilience continues to show.