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Teen social media influencer cancels Bronx event after threats

“I’m going to that library, I’m going with a bucked of dog shit and I’m pouring it on your parents and rubbing it into their eyes” 

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Desmond Napoles, aka 'Desmond is Amazing" (Photo Credit: Desmond is Amazing/Facebook)

BRONX, Ny. – An event scheduled to take place on Saturday at the Morrisania Library in the Bronx hosted by LGBTQ+ teen celebrity, social media influencer and drag artist Desmond Napoles, known by their stage name of ‘Desmond is Amazing,’ was cancelled after threats were made according to Amy Geduldig, a spokesperson for the New York Public Library, (NYPL).

The high school sophomore who likes to volunteer at the New York Public Library “because it’s really fun and it gives me something to do during the summer” was slated to present two teen-focused sessions reading from their book, “Be Amazing: A History of Pride.”

The New York Daily News along with Facebook posts on their ‘Desmond is Amazing‘ page reported that the 15-year-old received hate-filled and violent threats. The Daily News noted that Desmond was called “disgusting” and a range of slurs by a person using a recently created Instagram account who also threatened to use violence against Desmond and their family.

“You need to be locked away in a dog kennel and thrown into the ocean,” read one of the 10 private messages sent to the teen, which were seen by the Daily News.

The Instagram account was reported to the New York City Police Department (NYPD) as well as the NYPL. The Insta user also threatened: “I’m going to that library, I’m going with a bucked of dog shit and I’m pouring it on your parents and rubbing it into their eyes.” 

According to the Daily News, Desmond’s mother Wendy Napoles figured they would be OK and that the person was “just another cyberbully” — something the family has encountered before. “But on Saturday, he called the library to find out if Desmond was still going to be there,” she said.

The person, a man with a phone number linked to a business in Louisiana, then went on an angry tirade, saying that such events should not be allowed at the library, calling Desmond “a little faggot.” The library decided to cancel for the safety of everyone involved.

There has been escalating attacks and threats of violence against the LGBTQ+ community in the past year, many spurred on by posts spread on social media including those made by a former Brooklyn real estate agent, Chaya Raichik, known online as Libs of TikTok, who spreads far-right extremism and conspiracy materials often targeting the LGBTQ+ community directly.

This particular event in the Bronx was not present in Raichik’s Twitter feed.

Raichik and other far-right extremists target drag queen story hours and LGBTQ+ book readings often referring to those events as “grooming” or framing the events in a way to inflame anti-LGBTQ+ animus.

Raichik has also garnered support from far-right leaning politicos including a recent endorsement by Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.

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Beverly Tillery leaving New York City Anti-Violence Project

“I am so proud of the work we have done over the last eight years, which have been some of the most difficult our community has experienced”

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Beverly Tillery of the Anti-Violence Project. (Photo by Chris Tuttle)

NEW YORK CITY – After eight years of serving as executive director, Beverly Tillery announced on Tuesday that she will be leaving the New York-based Anti-Violence Project, America’s largest support and advocacy organization for LGBTQ survivors of violence.

“I am so proud of the work we have done over the last eight years, years which have been some of the most difficult our community has experienced in decades,” she said in a statement. Despite the steady increase in threats since the start of her tenure, Tillery said, “we helped our communities respond to the increases in hate violence attacks and came together with other targeted communities to protect each other.”

AVP Board Chair Stephanie K. Blackwood credited Tillery with helping to grow the group into “an organization that is poised for a national role,” recognized for its “model support services to survivors and their families, innovative policy and advocacy work and impactful community organizing.”

Recent advocacy work has included educating policymakers and leaders about the escalating threats and attacks against LGBTQ spaces, following the group’s issuance of its comprehensive survey and corresponding report titled, “Under Attack: 2022 LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces National Needs Assessment.”

Tillery spoke with the Washington Blade in October about AVP’s meetings with the White House, top officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including Adm. Rachel Levine, assistant secretary for health, and congressional offices.

The group plans to begin the search for a new executive director next month. Tillery’s last day will be July 31.

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Exorcism of “any remaining evil spirits” after trans funeral urged

Gentili is the first out trans person & outspoken sex worker to have their funeral services at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Patrick’s

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Archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan celebrating a Mass inside St. Patrick's Cathedral in Mid-town Manhattan. (Photo Credit: Archdiocese of New York)

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Outraged reaction is building from some Catholics over the funeral services for Cecilia Gentili, a history-making trans activist, which were held at New York City’s historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Thursday.

It is believed that Gentili is the first out transgender person and outspoken sex worker to have their funeral services at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Patrick’s, which has historically not been a friendly institution to the LGBTQ+ community.

The Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported the pastor of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City said the church has offered a Mass of Reparation after a controversial irreverent funeral service was held. Over 1400 mourners came to memorialize and honor Gentili at St. Patrick’s in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood of New York City. It is the seat of the Archbishop of New York as well as a parish church.

CNA went on to misgender Gentili reporting that [Gentili] was a major fundraiser for transgender causes and was a man who identified as a woman.

CNA also noted that the queer organizers reportedly did not disclose to St. Patrick’s that Gentili, who died Feb. 6 at age 52, was a [biological man] who identified as a woman.

“I kept it under wraps,” Ceyeye Doroshow, the Gentili’s funeral services organizer, told The New York Times, CNA pointed out.

Throughout the liturgy, the presider, Father Edward Dougherty, referred to Gentili with feminine pronouns and described the trans-identifying man as “our sister,” CNA reported adding; Additionally, during the prayers of the faithful, the reader prayed for so-called gender-affirming health care, while attendees frequently and approvingly referred to Gentili as the “mother of whores.”

This past Saturday, Rev. Enrique Salvo, the Pastor of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, issued a statement:

“Thanks to so many who have let us know they share our outrage over the scandalous behavior at a funeral here at St. Patrick’s Cathedral earlier this week. The Cathedral only knew that family and friends were requesting a funeral Mass for a Catholic, and had no idea our welcome and prayer would be degraded in such a sacrilegious and deceptive way. That such a scandal occurred at “America’s Parish Church” makes it worse; that it took place as Lent was beginning, the annual forty–day struggle with the forces of sin and darkness, is a potent reminder of how much we need the prayer, reparation, repentance, grace, and mercy to which this holy season invites us. 

“At the Cardinal’s directive, we have offered an appropriate Mass of Reparation.”

New York journalist Joe Jervis reported the far-right Catholic site LifeSiteNews has launched a petition calling on Cardinal Timothy Dolan to hold an exorcism of “any remaining evil spirits” still hanging around St. Patrick’s since the funeral.

Online, the CatholicVote community of religious extremists posted to X (formerly Twitter):

Vehemently extremist anti-LGBTQ+ Catholic League head Bill Donohue raged:

“Gentili is a man who falsely claimed to be a woman. He was an illegal alien, a drug addict, prostitute, trans activist and atheist.

At the service, many of those in attendance dressed as hookers, danced in the aisles, sang “Ave Cecilia” when “Ave Maria” was sung, and shouted, “St. Cecilia, Mother Of All Whores.”

The presiding priest, Fr. Edward Dougherty, falsely declared Gentili to be a woman, referring to him as “our sister.” Fr. James Martin, an LGBT advocate, was delighted with the event, saying the trans activists are “as much a part of the church as anyone else.”

“Many are wondering how this profane service could have happened. It happened because it was held under false pretenses,” Donohue angrily posted.

Her funeral service was both somber and celebratory of Gentili’s lasting impact on the LGBTQ+ community in New York City and across the country, with mourners chanting “Cecilia” in her honor.

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Gentili was a legendary organizer, author, advocate, performer, and community icon. As the founder of Transgender Equity consulting and a beloved mother to countless queer, trans, and immigrant individuals in New York City, her legacy endures on both systemic and personal levels.

The vibrant ceremony included a performance from actor Billy Porter and speeches from chosen family, including trans activists Ceyenne Doroshow, Liaam Winslet, and Gentili’s partner, Peter Scotto. Notably, celebrities in attendance included, Sara Ramirez, Indya Moore, Peppermint, Raquel Willis, Ryan McGinley, and more.

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Libs of TikTok angered over Kleenex® & Disney Pride sponsorship

Why do companies need to find every possible avenue to force this agenda? Because Satan wants evil to be normalized, & this agenda is evil

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(Screenshot/YouTube Kleenex® Thailand)

BROOKLYN, N.Y – Perpetually outraged Libs of TikTok’s far-right anti-LGBTQ+ extremist creator Chaya Raichik expressed anger over a partnership between Kleenex® Brand and the Disney corporation for their Thailand Pride sponsorship.

Thailand Pride had occurred seven months previously in June of 2023, although apparently Raichik was just now made aware of that fact.

Both the Walt Disney Company and Kleenex® Brand’s parent company Kimberly-Clark foster a safe and welcoming environment for their LGBTQ+ employees as noted by the annual Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI).

Also leading the charge, the Independent Journal Review, a right-wing American news and opinion website based in Alexandria, Virginia which reported:

Disney seems to constantly believe it needs to be involved with the LGBTQ crowd, this time partnering up with Kleenex® to feature rainbow versions of Mickey and Minnie Mouse on tissue containers. The new collection was launched in a [Thai] commercial that featured footage from ‘pride’ parades where both men and women can be seen dressed scantily in public.

The IJR then noted:

Why is this the case? Why do these companies need to find every possible avenue they can to force this agenda on consumers — even if it hurts their business as it did with Bud Light Because Satan wants evil to be normalized, and this agenda is evil.

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Dozens protest Moms for Liberty Manhattan townhall event

The right-wing extremist group used their event to ramp up right-wing fears about transgender healthcare for minors & critical race theory

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Defense of Democracy, a Moms for Liberty opposition group, and state and city lawmakers gathered outside in protest of the Moms for Liberty event at The Bohemian National Hall at 321 East 73rd Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan January 18, 2024. (Photo by Joe Jervis)

NEW YORK – Dozens of protestors gathered in below freezing temperatures last night in mid-town behind NYPD-erected barricades in front of the Bohemian National Hall demonstrating against extremist group Moms for Liberty’s townhall event being held inside.

When the event was announced earlier this month it drew an angered response in opposition from the Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský,  U.S. Representative Jerry Nadler, a Democrat whose congressional district includes the Upper West Side, openly gay New York state Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal as well as countless hundreds of others.

Foreign Minister Lipavský, said: “I do not agree with the event, the activities of this organization do not correspond to the interests of Czech foreign policy, and if it were up to me, it would never have taken place on the grounds of the Czech national building.”

In a statement Rep. Nadler said: “Despite their catchy name, Moms for Liberty is nothing more than an alt-right hate group vilifying the LGBTQ+ community. There is no place for hatred or bigotry in New York, which is why I’m deeply troubled by their planned event on the Upper East Side. We cannot allow this fringe group to dictate what books are in our libraries or the version of our nation’s history that fits their preferred narrative.”

Media outlets reported that the anti-Moms for Liberty crowd chanted and held up signs, including ones that read, “Moms for Bigotry,” “Moms for Intolerance,” “Moms for White Supremacy,” and “Moms for Hypocrisy” — with the word “Liberty” crossed out in red.

Ukrainian-American journalist Oliya Scootercaster reported that disgraced former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s son Andrew attended the event with shouts of “Fuck you Andrew!” when he arrived as protesters heckled him entering Bohemian National Hall. “God bless Moms for Liberty!” Giuliani shouted back at them and as he departed he was met with the crowd chanting – “Fuck You Fascist.”

George Santos, who was expelled from the U.S. House after being accused by Federal prosecutors of a number of financial misdeeds, including reimbursing himself for loans to his congressional campaign that he appears to have never actually made — in essence, stealing money from campaign donors, was also in attendance at last night’s Moms for Liberty event.

Scootercaster reported that protesters shouted “Booooo!” as Santos left the townhall event.

Daily Beast’s senior political reporter Kate Briquelet tweeted images of the two men from inside the event:

New York City-based queer journalist and senior editor Joe Jervis documented the event, live-tweeting from in the crowd.

The Daily Beast reported:

Jamie Bauer, a Manhattan retiree who held a “Moms for Hypocrisy” sign, told The Daily Beast, “What they did in Florida they are not going to do here. We’re going to protect our teachers, administrators, and librarians from these bigots.”

The Moms for Liberty movement is also personal for Bauer, 65, who identifies as nonbinary. They grew up a queer kid in school without the support many NYC students enjoy today.

“I suffered because I didn’t have it growing up,” Bauer said. “I want to protect kids so they don’t have to go through what I went through.”

They were referring to students’ access to books, therapy, medical care, and the ability to ask questions.

Moms for Liberty got its start pushing back against COVID-era school policies in Florida in 2021 later expanding to over 400 chapters across the U.S. pushing anti-LGBTQ and racial book bans, trans outing policies, and other far right extremist policies.

In recent months the group has been plagued by scandals including a sex scandal in Florida by one of its co-founders and her husband, a chapter affiliated member in Tennessee being arrested for retail theft, and its chapter in Indiana which used Adolf Hitler’s quote “He who has the young generation wins the future” in one of its newsletters, as reported by the Associated Press.

Then, as first reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Moms for Liberty Philadelphia chapter’s former faith-based outreach coordinator and a local pastor is also a convicted sex offender stemming from a 2012 felony conviction for aggravated sexual abuse of a 14-year-old boy in Illinois.

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NYC venue responds to Moms for Liberty debacle, will donate fee

The five story building is a mix of office and meeting spaces along with its famed Grand Ballroom and is owned by the Czech government

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The Bohemian National Hall at 321 East 73rd Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Constructed between 1895 & 1897, it was a Czech American social and culture center in New York City. (Photo Credit: Czech government)

NEW YORK – Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association president Joseph Balaz responded to the outrage generated by his organization leasing a meeting space to Moms for Liberty, a Southern Poverty Law Center listed extremist organization for an event on January 18.

In an online statement Balaz wrote:

“Dear Friends of BBLA, Supporters, and Neighbors,

I am taking this opportunity to communicate about an upcoming rental event involving an outside group known as Moms For Liberty.

For the past 130 years, BBLA has successfully supported Czech and Slovak heritage using the Bohemian National Hall as our cultural platform. Tens of thousands of people have enjoyed and appreciated the work done by our small staff and us, a group of enthusiastic volunteers running the various programs.

During the year, we occasionally rent space to other independent organizations, schools, companies, and concert promoters, with whom we have no affiliation. We have never had a mechanism in place to pre-screen event sponsors and never felt the need to do so.

Beginning of January, our staff rented one of our smaller rooms to a group called Moms for Liberty, for a three-hour window, and inadvertently stirred up quite a bit of controversy. I am sure you can appreciate that it feels like our peaceful existence was hit with a tornado when an avalanche of letters and calls commenting on the event started landing on us. Naturally, members of our community, as well as representatives of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs (our partner in the building), were alarmed by the notoriety of the event.

Based on strong and thorough advice from our counsel, we concluded that we are not in any position to break the contract. Notably, some who initially reached out to us requesting that we cancel the event now strongly recommend we let it pass, thus not giving legitimacy to it by attempting cancellation. We are also very grateful to many of our regular visitors for their kind words throughout this and for their understanding.

We are a completely apolitical organization concentrating on cultural performances, and – this particular group clearly does not fit our strong non-political stance. Be aware that BBLA is neither organizing, hosting, nor supporting this specific rental event. Furthermore, as a first-generation immigrant who years ago escaped a dictatorship and absolute censorship, I am personally very sensitive to concepts like book banning, thought, and expression controls, and so on, which this highly politically charged turmoil around this event brings out.

I will personally match the rental fee BBLA received for this event, and this “double-sum” will be donated to one of our organizations which actively supports young, future leaders. I trust and hope that the leaders of the next generations will shape a world where personal freedoms, truth, freedom of expression, and dialogue will be unshaken.

On behalf of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association, I thank you for your continuous support and for sharing your thoughts, ideas, and wisdom with us during these challenging days. We cannot wait to return to fulfilling our core mission of producing beautiful programs.”

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When news broke of the rental space being leased to Moms for Liberty, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said: “I do not agree with the event, the activities of this organization do not correspond to the interests of Czech foreign policy, and if it were up to me, it would never have taken place on the grounds of the Czech national building.”

Gay City News’ editor-in-chief Matt Tracy noted:

A flyer for the event labels it as a “Giving Parents a Voice Town Hall,” hosted by co-founder Tiffany Justice. Confirmed names on the event are Mona Davids of New York City Parents Union; Charles Love and Maud Mauron of Community Education Council, District 2; Natalya Murakhver of Restore Childhood; Wai Wah Chin of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York; Corey DeAngelis of American Federation for Children; Nicholas Giordano of Suffolk County Community College; and Bilboard Chris.

Other Moms for Liberty events slated for the same week offer more insight into the group’s political priorities. A Jan. 16 meeting, for example, will focus on “gender ideology” and “how to defeat it,” while a Feb. 17 event scheduled to take place in Alabama will feature Riley Gaines, a former college athlete who once competed against out trans swimmer Lia Thomas and has since become one of the most vociferous anti-trans voices in the sports world.

Moms for Liberty did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Jan. 15.

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Czech Foreign Minister opposes Moms for Liberty Manhattan event

“I do not agree with the event, the activities of this organization do not correspond to the interests of Czech foreign policy”

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The Bohemian National Hall at 321 East 73rd Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Constructed between 1895 & 1897, it was a Czech American social and culture center in New York City. (Photo Credit: Czech government)

NEW YORK – The Czech National Building, known as the Bohemian National Hall in New York City, leased a meeting space to Moms for Liberty, a Southern Poverty Law Center listed extremist organization for an event on January 18, which has drawn opposition from the Czech Foreign Minister.

In a statement to Prague-based Czech media outlet Seznam Zprávy, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said: “I do not agree with the event, the activities of this organization do not correspond to the interests of Czech foreign policy, and if it were up to me, it would never have taken place on the grounds of the Czech national building.”

Known as the Bohemian National Hall, (Czech: Česká národní budova), the five story building located at 321 East 73rd Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, is a mix of office and meeting spaces along with its famed Grand Ballroom and is owned by the Czech government.

Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský (Screenshot/UATV)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs further stated to Seznam Zprávy and American media outlets, the event is not an expression of the position of the Consulate General in New York, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Czech Republic.

“This is an event realized on the basis of a commercial lease of the premises of the building by the expatriate organization Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA) as lessor. The Consulate General was not informed in advance of the conclusion of this lease agreement between BBLA and Moms for Liberty,” the ministry said.

The January 18 event also drew the ire of U.S. Representative Jerry Nadler, whose congressional district includes the Upper West Side, represented by Nadler since the 1990s, the Upper East Side, and all of Midtown Manhattan.

Speaking to New York City community news website the Upper East Side, the congressman said: “There is no place for hate or religious extremism in New York.”

Openly gay New York state Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal tweeted:

🚨

To the Prime Minister of the #CzechRepublic

@P_Fiala: I urge you to reconsider hosting #MomsforLiberty, a far right and anti- #LGBTQ extremist group, at the Czech Consulate in NYC on January 18

cc: @CzechMFA; @splcenter

The right-wing blogsite Daily Signal, owned by the anti-LGBTQ+ Heritage Foundation reported:

Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice responded to harsh criticism from Manhattan’s borough president, who attacked the parental rights group ahead of a town hall-style event later this month. Mark Levine, the borough president, said Wednesday [Jan. 03, 2024] that Moms for Liberty “has no place here” after he learned about the event.

“This group is anti-LGBTQ, supports book bans, harasses teachers & school librarians, and has been labeled by the SPCLC as a ‘far right extremist organization,’” Levine wrote in a statement. “Manhattan is the home of Stonewall,” he added.

Justice responded by asking whether Levine would “like to join us” at the town hall. As for the claims that Moms for Liberty is “anti-LGBTQ,” Justice said one of the group’s top leaders is lesbian, the organization has gay chapter chairs, and some chapter chairs have gay kids, the Daily Signal noted.

Moms for Liberty got its start pushing back against COVID-era school policies in Florida in 2021 later expanding to over 400 chapters across the U.S. pushing anti-LGBTQ and racial book bans, trans outing policies, and other far right extremist policies.

In recent months the group has been plagued by scandals including a sex scandal in Florida by one of its co-founders and her husband, a chapter affiliated member in Tennessee being arrested for retail theft, and its chapter in Indiana which used Adolf Hitler’s quote “He who has the young generation wins the future” in one of its newsletters, as reported by the Associated Press.

Then, as first reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Moms for Liberty Philadelphia chapter’s former faith-based outreach coordinator and a local pastor is also a convicted sex offender stemming from a 2012 felony conviction for aggravated sexual abuse of a 14-year-old boy in Illinois.

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NYPD uniform cop voices anti-gay slur captured in viral video

An officer sitting in a police vehicle at a red light speaks into a loudspeaker, saying, “suck my dick, faggot”

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NYPD cruiser at Union Square in Manhattan. (Photo by STREKOZA)

By Dashiell Allen | NEW YORK – The Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) is calling on the NYPD to take swift action after a viral video shared on Instagram Oct. 26 appeared to show an officer using an anti-gay slur.

In the video, posted by the Instagram user @skymilezz, an officer sitting in a police vehicle at a red light speaks into a loudspeaker, saying, “suck my dick, faggot.”

Brian Downey, an NYPD detective and president of GOAL, told Gay City News in a phone interview he was “completely disgusted” when a member of GOAL brought the incident to his attention.

“This is a painful moment for many of us,” he said. “That word evokes a great deal of pain. It really is painful.” 

Downey added: “And that’s the sentiment that I’ve gotten from my members: Anger, frustration, pain, sorrow.”  

GOAL released a statement on Nov. 2 stating that the NYPD already launched an investigation.

“We expect the results of that investigation to lead to appropriate disciplinary action in line with the NYPD’s professional standards,” the statement read. 

An NYPD spokesperson told Gay City News in an emailed statement that “the department does not tolerate discrimination in any form and is committed to respectful work environments for our diverse workforce. The incident is under internal review.” 

Recently, the NYPD and Mayor Eric Adams’ administration have faced criticism for failing to punish the cops involved in the death of Kawaski Trawick, an out gay man who was fatally shot by police in his Bronx home in 2019. In that case, one of the officers who responded in the aftermath of the shooting was caught calling Trawick “just a perp.”

Downey acknowledged that the recent video shared on Instagram and similar incidents could erode the LGBTQ community’s trust in the NYPD. 

“But we’re still in the arena, doing the work,” he said. “ And the Gay Officers Action League cannot do it without our community and without New Yorkers.” 

“It’s not who I am and it’s not who our people are,” said Downey, referring to the video. “It’s not the principles of our organization nor do I think it’s the principles of the police department.” 

At the same time, Downey added, “I’m a big fan of accountability, [and] I’m a big fan of transparency.”

***************************************************************************************

The preceding article was previously published by Gay City News and is republished with permission.

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NYPD: Brooklyn library’s Drag Story Hour moved after bomb threat

“These are children, and children just want to hear stories … It’s a shame how somebody just ruined it and threatened violence”

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The Cortelyou branch of Brooklyn Public Library at 1305 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn, New York. (Photo Credit: Brooklyn Public Library)

BROOKLYN – The New York Police Department confirmed that a bomb threat was emailed to the Cortelyou branch of Brooklyn Public Library forcing the staff and patrons to relocate the scheduled Drag Queen Story Hour just prior to the event Saturday morning.

The NYPD confirmed Saturday afternoon that an email addressed to a library staff person sourced to an unknown person with a Buffalo, New York origin threatened that a bomb would detonate at 11:30 a.m., and according to a NYPD spokesperson a male caller also phoned 911 about the threat.

The NYPD’s canine and emergency services units briefly evacuated the branch and did a search but did not locate a device or anything suspicious. “Officers responded to a bomb threat. There were no devices located,” said the spokesperson.

The New York Post reported the drag queens moved their event to a Connecticut Muffin coffee shop a block away after convincing staffers there to help. About seven children and parents attended.

“It’s a shame, and it’s something that’s extremely dangerous,” fumed a parent of a 2-year-old girl who sat in on the reading.

“These are children, and children just want to hear stories … It’s a shame how somebody just ruined it and threatened violence.”

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Out Black dancer O’Shae Sibley killed, NYPD probe as hate crime

NYPD’s 66th Precinct homicide investigators along with the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force (HCTF) are searching for a teenage suspect

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Kemar Jewel, (Left) with O’Shae Sibley (Photo Credit: Kemar Jewel/Facbook)

BROOKLYN, NY. – A professional out queer Black dancer was murdered just after 11 p.m. Saturday night during a confrontation with a group of young Muslim men in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn at a Mobil convenience mart and gas station.

New York City Police Department’s 66th Precinct homicide investigators along with detectives from the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force (HCTF) are searching for a teenage suspect seen in surveillance video footage arguing with the victim, O’Shae Sibley, 28.

According to witnesses and the NYPD, Sibley and a group of his friends performed an impromptu voguing dance session while refueling after a day trip to the Jersey Shore. The teenage suspect and several others had emerged from the convenience mart and engaged Sibley using profanities and homophobic epithets.

Witnesses told investigators that the group of young Muslims had told Sibley and his group that their voguing dance was offensive to their religion.

On the surveillance video footage the ensuing physical altercation is shown with the rapid departure of the suspect and his group. The NYPD said that NYFD medics rushed the dancer to Maimonides Medical Center with a stab wound to the chest, but he succumbed to his injuries enroute and was deceased upon arrival.

Prominent Black director and choreographer Kemar Jewel, who had worked with Sibley since he was a teenager, posted his tribute, expressing grief over the killing on Facebook.

“Over the weekend, my nephew O’Shae (Sage) was murdered due to a hate crime. A group of men killed him for being gay. Once I got the call that he didn’t make it to the hospital, I felt my soul leave my body.

I met O’Shae when he was 16 years old. He was a bright eyed and goofy young man who had talent beyond anything I’d seen before. He could sing, he could do hip hop, jazz, ballet, tap, anddddddd he was an incredible voguer! That’s how we became close.

We both were immersed in the arts and wanted to step into ballroom, so we joined the ballroom scene at the same time and was in our first house together. In addition to Ballroom, O’Shae was a staple in the Philly dance community and was even apart of Philadanco (The Philadelphia Dance Company).

Since O’Shae was so talented, I always jumped at the chance to put him in shows and productions to show off his talents. If you know me, my career took off because of my Ballroom-related music videos. Out of the 8 videos I’ve done in my career, O’Shae has starred in 6 of them! O’Shae also has choreographed and assisted me on several live productions, including choreographing the first ever Black Queer Sondheim show I did.

If you know me, you know that I’m not connected to my biological family, and O’Shae was one of the closest things to family that I ever had. We checked on each other. We loved each other and we were always there when the other needed it. We were invested in each other’s wellbeing and growth and I knew that we were bonded together forever. To add the cherry on top, a few years ago, we found out that we were ACTUALLY RELATED because his biological cousin was married to my uncle. I remember O’Shae’s face when he found out, he was so happy that a bond that was made up was now cemented in real life.

Anyone who ever met O’Shae was very blessed to know him. He was funny, unique, charismatic and always knew how to have a good time. Most importantly, he loved HARD!!! He went above and beyond for his loved ones and made sure no one was ever sad around him. As I write this, tears are running down my face thinking about his beautiful smile and his child-like energy. I can’t believe that I have to live the rest of my life without hearing him calling me “Uncle” in one of his funny voices.

O’Shae, I love you with every bone in my body, I’m so sorry that this world and its hatred has taken you away from us way too soon. I promise you I’ll make sure your memory will live on in the hearts and minds of everyone I come across. I’ll tell your stories! I’ll speak your name and I’ll make sure that every Black Queer artist I meet knows that I am who I am because you poured into me and believed in me, even when no one else did.

Rest in Peace.

Rest in Paradise.

Rest in Power.”

Sibley had performed at Lincoln Center as part of an all-queer dance group in Jacolby Satterwhite’s dreamlike digital media exhibit “An Electric Dance to the Movement of Time” in 2022.

The New York Daily News reported that Jewel notably featured Sibley in his 2021 video “Soft: A Love Letter to Black Queer Men,” a nearly seven-minute performance that the Brooklyn dancer co-choreographed, which uses the art of contemporary dance to portray black feminine energy.

“He really, really loved Soft,” said Jewel. “He helped to talk me through it and breath life into it.”

Jewel told the Daily News that Sibley moved to New York from Philadelphia three years ago, shortly after he did, because he enjoyed the city’s 24-hour vibrancy. He said that Sibley had the gift of making people happy.

“He was goofy and funny and full of life and energy. And he always knew how to make people smile. I think that those are his best attributes — that he made everyone smile.”

Sibley also liked to share his enthusiasm and his gift for dance.

“He also volunteered at dance studios to help teach folks. He volunteered at youth centers and he offered free classes and stuff. He definitely loved to give back.”

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New York

Gov. Hochul makes New York a “Safe Haven” for Trans youth

The groundbreaking new law that makes the state a “safe haven” by ensuring New York will protect trans youth, their parents and their doctors

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New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation establishing the Empire State as a "Safe Haven" for Trans Youth. (Photo Credit: Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

NEW YORK CITY – At the beginning of NYC’s Pride Parade Sunday, New York Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation establishing the Empire State as a “Safe Haven” for Trans Youth, protecting trans medical info, shields medical professionals, and prohibits police from targeting trans youth.

Hochul signed a groundbreaking new law that makes New York a “safe haven” for the trans community by ensuring New York will protect trans youth, their parents and their doctors and another law which protects their right to receive addiction treatment and rehabilitation. The Governor also signed three new laws that update legal documents in New York to remove outdated and stigmatizing terminology.  

“As the birthplace of the modern movement for LGBTQ+ rights, New York is proud to protect, defend and affirm our LGBTQ+ community,” Governor Hochul said. “From Stonewall to Marriage Equality to GENDA, New Yorkers have been on the forefront of the fight for equal rights. Now, as other states target LGBTQ+ people with bigotry and fearmongering, New York is fighting back. These new laws will enshrine our state as a beacon of hope, a safe haven for trans youth and their families, and ensure we continue to lead the nation on LGBTQ+ rights.” 

Sandra Pérez, Executive Director of NYC Pride said, “We’re thrilled to see that Governor Hochul recognizes the importance of signing this legislation alongside one of the most significant LGBTQIA+ events in the world at the place where Pride began. To have this legislation signed at the marquee event of NYC Pride underscores the importance of Pride events to bring the community together in celebration and in protest.”    

S.2475-B/A.6046-B:  Amends the family court act, the executive law, the civil practice law and rules, the criminal procedure law, the education law, the public health law and the insurance law, to prohibit the following: the consideration of a law of another state that authorizes a child to be removed from their parent or guardian based on the parent or guardian allowing their child to receive gender-affirming care in custody cases, law enforcement agencies from cooperating with or providing information to any individual or out-of-state agency or department regarding the provision of lawful gender-affirming care performed in this state, the issuance of a subpoena in connection with certain out-of-state proceedings relating to seeking health or related information about people who come to New York to receive gender-affirming care, and the arrest of a person for performing or aiding in the lawful performance of gender-affirming care within this state  

S.993-A/A.4903: Amends the mental hygiene law to require the Office of Addiction Services and Supports to assure that persons who suffer from a substance use disorder have the right to seek and receive addiction services, care, treatment and rehabilitation services based on the individual’s gender identity, gender expression and/or sexual orientation.  

S.2442/A.7367: Amends the executive law to remove outdated and stigmatizing statutory language from the definition of “sexual orientation” in New York’s Human Rights Law. It strikes the phrase “However, nothing contained herein shall be construed to protect conduct otherwise proscribed by law” from the definition of “sexual orientation,” and therefor reads, “The term “sexual orientation” means heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality or asexuality, whether actual or perceived.”  

A.1142/ S.155:  Amends the general construction law to require that gender-neutral terms be used in any law, rule, regulation or resolution, including but not limited to “they,” “them” and “theirs.” If a law, rule, regulation or resolution is in reference to a specific person, the language referring to such person shall be gendered in accordance with the gender identity of such person.  

A.1371-A/ S.208-A: Amends the State Technology Law to call for state agencies to use gender neutral terminology on their websites. The language may be gendered if it is in relation to a specific person or a specific group of people, in accordance with the gender identity of such person or group.   

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