Vigil turns into solidarity march for dancer O'Shae Sibley

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Sunday, August 6, 2023
Vigil turns into solidarity march for dancer O'Shae Sibley
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O'Shae Sibley's name rang out during a march from the LGBT Community Center - overflowing with pain - to Pier 46, where people danced to numb their pain. Anthony Carlo has more.

MIDWOOD, Brooklyn (WABC) -- O'Shae Sibley's name rang out during a march from the LGBT Community Center - overflowing with pain - to Pier 46, where people danced to numb their pain. They hoped Sibley can now do what he loved to do in peace.

Dance is one of the things his sister, Dezirah Kelly says made him a light in the darkness.

"For my brother to no longer be here, it's like the night without the moon," Kelly said.

Sibley was dancing with his friends at a Brooklyn gas station last Saturday when police say he was stabbed to death in a hate-motivated confrontation.

Sibley's best friend was there when police say homophobic and anti-Black slurs were shouted at them before it turned deadly.

"There's no hate in my heart, it's all love. And unfortunately, it takes a person to open their heart," said Otis Peña.

A 17-year-old from Brooklyn turned himself in on Friday and was charged with murder as a hate crime. The arrest sent a message.

"We're going to create an environment where the city is safe and one should be allowed to dance to express themselves," said Mayor Eric Adams.

That is exactly what Siibley did as a gay professional dancer - hundreds of others Saturday night followed and danced in his footsteps.

"What better way to honor someone who was stolen from us so prematurely than to live our lives exactly like him," said Gary Hill.

They are not losing sight of the harsh reality.

"This is what I've been thinking tonight a lot is that this should have never been the thing that brought people together," said Sibley's friend and dance partner Kara Smith.

"The hate that lived in the man that murdered my brother also lives in other people and that's why we're making a big deal about this," said Kelly.

Sibley will be laid to rest this upcoming week.

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