AVP issues community alert as LGBTQ+ New Yorkers face continued violence

The New York City Anti-Violence Project is calling on New Yorkers to support LGBTQ+ people and put safety at the top of their minds, as at least 45 anti-LGBTQ+ incidents, including at least three homicides, have been tracked or reported across the city so far in 2023.

Most recently, a 28-year-old man, O’Shae Sibley was harassed and stabbed in Midwood after he and his friends were harassed for voguing and dancing in public and later died from his injuries. At least three other LGBTQ+ people were reportedly stabbed by hateful harm-doers using anti-LGBTQ+ language since June, including Tavon Silver, who was killed when stabbed on a train in the Bronx,  and a gay man who was stabbed at a bus stop on Randalls Island.

In July, Mary Mora was found dead in her Bronx apartment under suspicious circumstances, and though the cause of death has not been revealed, her family is seeking answers. At least 10 anti-transgender hate incidents were reported in 2023.

In February, 19-year-old gay man Deandre Matthews was violently stabbed and burned in Brooklyn.

“The reality is that whether on the train, meeting up, getting gas, going out to a nightlife venue or simply walking home, LGBTQ+ New Yorkers face threats of violence we haven’t seen in decades,” says Beverly Tillery, Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “Our communities are facing attacks on all fronts, and if we don’t act now more lives could be lost to hate violence.”

AVP has monitored the escalated violence against LGBTQ+ people nationwide, including attacks on LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces. In 2022, at least 3 out of every 5 LGBTQ+ businesses surveyed in our Under Attack: LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces National Needs Assessment report experienced some type of anti-LGBTQ+ harassment or violence, including several venues here in New York City where pride flags have been burned, bricks thrown through venue windows, online harassment has proliferated, and anti-LGBTQ+ protests have been organized by white nationalist and other anti-LGBTQ hate groups. .

“This is a growing crisis that New Yorkers can no longer ignore as if these things don’t happen here,” says Tillery. “New York City and our public officials tell the world how safe it is for LGBTQ+ people to come here, but the data shows that LGBTQ+ New Yorkers are at risk for violent acts of hate, based simply being themselves. That’s the opposite of a safe haven.”

Together, we can end this violence. Get involved by signing up to learn more about training and opportunities with AVP’s community safety work. AVP knows that many survivors of anti-LGBTQ+ violence need support but don’t want to immediately report to law enforcement. AVP is here to provide support to anyone who has experienced anti-LGBTQ+ violence, either recently or in the past. Call our 24/7 hotline in English/Spanish for assistance at 212-714-1141 or report online.

Note: an earlier version of this release included the death of Jordan Neely, although AVP did track this incident due to its nature we cannot confirm whether Neely was LGBTQ+.