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GLAAD STATEMENT ON THE ARREST OF SUSPECT IN THE MURDER OF O’SHAE SIBLEY
- Last updated: August 4, 2023
GLAAD: “Our hearts remain with O’Shae’s family, friends, and everyone who has been truly shaken by this horrific crime. The arrest of a suspect is only one measure of justice for O’Shae and all LGBTQ people who just want to be themselves and be safe. We must hold accountable anyone whose words and actions are used to harm vulnerable people. O’Shae’s memory should forever inspire us to be courageous as ourselves, to accept each other with joy and gratitude, and to honor artists who envision possibility and freedom. We each must use our voices and talents to demand safety, love and acceptance for all of us to be more free.”
(New York, NY – August 4, 2023) GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, is responding to news that the 17-year-old suspect in the stabbing death of 28-year-old O’Shae Sibley has been arrested in New York City.
Sibley’s murder last weekend is one of at least a half dozen violent deaths of LGBTQ people over the last weeks across the country, and follows more than 350 reported incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism against the LGBTQ community since June 2022.
The suspect, whose name has not been released by law enforcement, reportedly used anti-gay slurs against Sibley and his friends at a gas station in Brooklyn before stabbing and killing him. The murder is being investigated as a hate crime.
A vigil is planned at the LGBTQ Center in New York City on Saturday at 6pm with a celebration of life service in Sibley’s hometown of Philadelphia on Tuesday.
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis responded on Instagram, and below:
“Our hearts remain with O’Shae’s family, friends, and everyone who has been truly shaken by this horrific crime. The arrest of a suspect is only one measure of justice for O’Shae and all LGBTQ people who just want to be themselves and be safe. We must hold accountable anyone whose words and actions are used to harm vulnerable people. O’Shae’s memory should forever inspire us to be courageous as ourselves, to accept each other with joy and gratitude, and to honor artists who envision possibility and freedom. We each must use our voices and talents to demand safety, love and acceptance for all of us to be more free.”
Sibley is the fifth person murdered in acts of anti-LGBTQ violence in recent weeks:
- 18-year-old Jacob Williamson in South Carolina was a transgender man killed after going on a date.
- 24-year-old Akira Ross was shot and killed at a Cedar Park, Texas, gas station by a man who reportedly yelled a homophobic slur at her, according to her girlfriend and father. Ross’ murder was among 145 incidents of anti-LGBTQ violence, harassment and vandalism documented during Pride month this year via GLAAD’s partnership with the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism.
- Three transgender women, Cam Chamberlain, Ashley Burton, and Chanell Perez Ortiz were killed in separate incidents in Central Texas, Atlanta and Carolina, Puerto Rico, as first reported by PGHLesbian.
- Colin Smith, a straight, cisgender man, was killed defending an LGBTQ friend being harassed by a man using homophobic slurs, according to The Oregonian.
- More than 500 bills were proposed in state legislatures in 2023, most targeting transgender people and the best practice health care supported by every major medical association in America and leading world health authorities, as well as access to youth sports and public spaces, book bans, drag bans, and curriculum censorship. Judges have blocked anti-LGBTQ laws in at least seven states so far as unconstitutional.
- GLAAD has documented more than 160 attacks against drag events and performers over the last year, increasingly with violence and fomented by extremist and white supremacist groups.
- GLAAD and the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism documented more than 350 incidents of harassment, vandalism and assault over an eleven-month period beginning in June 2022.
- ADL identified at least 145 incidents of anti-LGBTQ hate and extremism nationwide during Pride 2023 alone. ADL tracks violence against the LGBTQ community via its HEAT Map here
- GLAAD’s Accelerating Acceptance Study found a 91% supermajority of non-LGBTQ Americans agree that LGBTQ people should have the freedom to live their life and not be discriminated against.
About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.
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