Last Saturday night, a dancer named O’Shae Sibley was stabbed to death at a gas station in New York while he and his friends were vogueing to Beyonce’s Renaissance album. Sibley was murdered “because he’s gay, because he stood up for his friends,” a friend stated.

“His name was O’Shae, and you all killed him. You all murdered him right in front of me.”

Police have identified but not named a suspect, who is 17 and not yet in custody. The suspect was part of a group involved in an altercation with Sibley and his friends and allegedly made homophobic remarks before the confrontation ended with Sibley’s death. According to Brittany Kriegstein at Gothamist, an employee of the gas station’s adjoining market said the men confronted Sibley because they claimed his dancing offended their faith:

“’These people were like “we’re Muslim, I don’t want you dancing,”’ Ullah said in a phone interview Monday. He said that the initial instigators were friends of a man who works at a nearby smoke shop and frequently comes by the gas station to use the restroom.”


According to the New York Times, Sibley and his friends “had been playing ‘Renaissance’ by Beyoncé and vogueing, a style of dance that began as an imitation of fashion models in the 1980s:

“That is when the group of men approached, calling them names, Mr. Jewel said, recalling the account of Mr. Pena, who could not be reached for comment. Both Mr. Sibley and Mr. Pena told them, ‘Stop saying that. There is nothing wrong with being gay.’ Mr. Sibley fought with them, and he was stabbed as Mr. Pena ran to intervene, Mr. Jewel said.”


Surveillance video obtained by ABC7NY captured the altercation.

Sibley was a native of Philadelphia who moved to New York four years ago to pursue a career in dance. He performed at Lincoln Center and took part in the Alvin Ailey Extension program, which released this statement:

“The Ailey organization mourns the tragic death of O’Shae Sibley, who was a cherished and devoted participant in our Ailey Extension program of dance classes. O’Shae had incredible energy in the studio and was loved by instructors and fellow students. He recently shone during a special demonstration of West African dance at The Ailey Spirit Gala. 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.”


The murder of O’Shae Sibley comes amid a hostile and increasingly menacing atmosphere of violence and intimidation against LGBTQ+ Americans. Advocacy group GLAAD places the murder of O’Shae Sibley in the context of “at least a half dozen murders” of LGBTQ+ people over the last several weeks in the United States. In a statement, GLAAD’s Darian Aaron says that Sibley’s murder “follows a disturbing rise in violence and harassment against LGBTQ people across the U.S. This cannot continue. No one should have to fear for their safety just for being themselves.

“Politicians spewing lies and proposing policies filled with disinformation, and media repeating their false and dangerous rhetoric unchallenged, are creating an incredibly hostile environment that endangers all LGBTQ people and all queer people of color.”


More than 500 bills were proposed in state legislatures in 2023 targeting LGBTQ+ people, according to GLAAD.

The father of O’Shae Sibley, Jake Kelly, has established a GoFundMe to cover funeral arrangements and related costs after Sibley’s murder.