Beyonce has joined America’s dance community in mourning the death of O’Shea Sibley (Photo: Philadanco! / Facebook)
Beyoncé has honoured O’Shea Sibley, a young gay man who was stabbed to death while vogueing to her music in what is suspected to be a hate crime.
The 28-year-old professional dancer and choreographer, along with a few friends, was dancing at a petrol station in Brooklyn, New York City, on Saturday night when they were approached by a group of men.
It’s alleged that the men used anti-gay slurs against the dancers and expressed offence at their dancing and the fact that they were shirtless. An argument ensued, and after a scuffle, one of the aggressors stabbed Sibley, who later died in the hospital.
The incident was captured on the petrol station’s CCTV cameras. Police have identified a 17-year-old who fled the scene and has yet to be arrested.
On Tuesday, Beyoncé paid tribute to the slain dancer on her website with the words “Rest in Power O’Shea Sibley” placed on a black background.
One of Sibley’s friends, Otis Pena, who was with him when he was murdered, posted an emotional video on Facebook about the tragedy.
“They murdered him because he’s gay, because he stood up for his friends. His name was O’Shae, and you all killed him. You all murdered him right in front of me,” said Pena.
No one deserves to be targeted for simply being themselves
The Ailey Organisation, known for its lauded dance companies, mourned the loss of Sibley, who was one of its students.
“He had incredible energy in the studio and was loved by instructors and fellow classmates,” said the organisation in a statement. “We are shocked and heartbroken that O’Shae’s life has been taken by senseless violence and extend our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.”
Philadanco, the Philadelphia Dance Company, has created a memorial fund for Sibley that will support his family.
“This news is absolutely heartbreaking and we believe no one deserves to be targeted for simply being themselves and living in their truth. We are keeping high hopes that Justice will be served,” said Philadanco.
A memorial vogueing ball will be held on Friday night at the Brooklyn petrol station where Sibley was killed as an “act of resistance.”
The case is being investigated as a possible anti-LGBTQ+ hate crime.