Beyoncé has paid tribute to O’Shae Sibley, who was tragically killed at a New York gas station after being spotted vogueing to her music.
Sibley, 28, was attacked at a Brooklyn gas station on Tuesday (August 1) after he got out of his car to dance to Beyoncé’s Renaissance album with his friends.
The professional dancer and choreographer was voguing, a dance style that originated in New York’s Black queer and trans ballroom community, and was confronted by a group of strangers who took issue with him dancing in public.
Sibley and his friend Otis Pena responded to the attackers, who directed homophobic insults at them. Later, Pena told The New York Times that Sibley demanded the group to, “Stop saying that. There is nothing wrong with being gay.”
One person then pulled out a knife and stabbed Sibley while Pena made an effort to intervene.
Beyoncé eventually learned about the incident and expressed her solidarity on her website. She shared a black and white message that stated: “REST IN POWER O’SHEA SIBLEY.”
Before coming to Brooklyn, Sibley was a member of Phildanco, the prestigious Philadelphia dance company, and was well-known in his close circles for being an amazing dancer. The murder is currently under investigation by a hate crimes task force.
“They murdered him because he’s gay, because he stood up for his friends,” Pena said in a Facebook video after the incident. “His name was O’Shae and you all killed him. You all murdered him right in front of me.”