O’Shae Sibley, 28, was vogueing and listening to Beyoncé when a group of men told him to stop, the New York Times reported.
Following the news of his death, Beyoncé’s website paid tribute to Sibley, who was a professional dancer, sharing the words, “Rest in Power O’Shae Sibley” across the homepage.
On Saturday night, Sibley, was playing the “Break My Soul” singer’s Renaissance album and dancing at a gas station in Brooklyn with friends, when the men approached them and hurled gay slurs, his friends told NYT. After Sibley confronted them, an argument escalated and one of the men stabbed him, according to police. Sibley was brought to Maimonides Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Sibley and Otis Pena, one of Sibley’s best friends, reportedly told the men that there “is nothing wrong with being gay.”
Hours after his death, Pena shared a video to Facebook. “They murdered him because he’s gay, because he stood up for his friends,” Pena said. “His name was O’Shae and you all killed him.”
“O’Shae was just a beacon of light that just influenced everybody,” added Pena, who called O’Shae his brother. “We may be gay, but we exist. We’re not going to live in fear. We’re not going to live hiding.”
“Heartbroken and enraged to learn about O’Shae Sibley’s death this weekend in New York. Despite homophobes’ best efforts, gay joy is not crime,” New York State Senator Brad Hoylman-Signal, who is gay, wrote on social media on Monday. “Hate-fueled attacks are.”
The police stated that the hate crimes unit was involved in the investigation. No arrests have been made at this point.