Fifteen-year-old Sakia Gunn was stabbed to death in Newark, New Jersey while waiting for the transit with a female friend. On the evening of May 11, 2003 the young girls were approached by two men offering sexual advances. After discovering they were lesbians, the men attacked them. Sakia fought back against one of the attackers who then stabbed her in the chest. She died at the hospital.
The outcry against Gunn’s murder was detrimental to the city of Newark. An estimated 2500 people attended her funeral and many of those also rallied to the city’s mayor to establish a LGBT Community Center and a committee that reported directly to him in regards to LGBT matters in the community. While both requests still remain unanswered, members of the community started the Newark Pride Council in Sakia’s honor and continue to urge city leaders for more protection.
Sakia Gunn’s murderer turned himself in days after the attack and claimed she fell onto knife. He is now serving 20 years in jail for manslaughter, aggravated assault, and bias intimidation.