More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
The man, whose family requested that his identity not be reported, was shot and killed late Friday night by an assailant who allegedly shouted anti-gay slurs shortly before attacking the victim.
"What do we want? Safety. When do we want it? Now," the crowd chanted.
Speakers at the march, which travelled from New York's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center to the site of the slaying in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, included Glennda Testone, Executive Director of the LGBT Communty Center, as well as LGBT elected officials and advocates.
The victim's family also spoke to the crowd, as well as faith leaders from various denominations.
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was among the leaders of the march, alongside Edie Windsor, whose federal case against the United States over the so-called 'Defense of Marriage Act' reached the Supreme Court earlier this year.
The victim is the fifth gay victim of violence in New York City in the last several weeks, but the first fatality.
GLAAD joined the New York Anti-Violence Project (AVP) to help organize and facilitate the march, which was also supported by New York's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Bronx LGBTQ Center, LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent, Make the Road NY, the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, and other community partners.
Over the past few weeks, AVP has been working with GLAAD and community members, which have all heard from so many people who want to respond to and speak out about this violence. After the Monday evening event, AVP will continue to work to create safety in all communities across New York City through the Friday Community Safety Nights that will begin on this Friday, May 24th. Every Friday night from May 24th through the end of June, AVP will be out on the streets doing outreach in neighborhoods affected by anti-LGBTQ violence to raise awareness and provide people with information and safety tips. AVP is looking for dedicated volunteers and concerned community members to join them.