Friday night in New York's Greenwich Village, police say a gunman, who is in custody, followed the victim, taunting him with anti-gay slurs and homophobic language, before fatally shooting him in the head.
The victim is the fifth gay victim of violence in New York City in the last several weeks, but the first fatality. On Monday, GLAAD, elected officials, LGBT community leaders and allies will be marching from New York's LGBT Community Center to the site of Friday's shooting, to demand an end to hate crimes against the LGBT community. The march will begin at 5:30pm.
Wilson Cruz, GLAAD's national spokesperson said:
"Our hearts grieve for the victim's loved ones. While our community has made progress, this is a stark and sobering reminder of the rife homophobia that still exists in our culture. These crimes are intended to scare and silence LGBT people. However, as a proud New York native, I am confident that our community and our city will not be silenced, but will rather come together to stop this rash of senseless violence. Speaker Christine Quinn, other elected officials, and the New York City Anti-Violence project continue to showcase strong leadership in addressing the safety of LGBT New Yorkers. Yet, we are reminded still that, until we rid our society of the discrimination that allows us to be seen as inferior and less than human, we will never truly be safe, even in one of the most accepting cities in the world."
At the end of the march, community members, elected officials, LGBT community leaders and allies will rally to denounce hate violence, call for justice, and mourn this senseless death. See more info, and the Anti-Violence Project's Take Action Alert, here.
Other organizations and officials participating with GLAAD include: the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP), the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, 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, other community partners, and New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn.
Over the past few weeks, AVP has been working with GLAAD and community members and have heard from so many people who want to respond to and speak out about this violence. After we join together to march and speak out on Monday, 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.
Many media outlets in New York and around the country have made note of the alleged killer's ethnicity. We urge the media not to do this, as it only fuels false but persistent stereotypes.