Members of the LGBTQ and black communities and their supporters gathered on Friday at a New York City rally to express their solidarity with Jussie Smollett, days after he reported being the victim of an attack in Chicago.
On Tuesday, police said they were investigating a "possible racially motivated" assault on the 36-year-old actor, who identifies as gay and also plays a gay man on Empire, by two unknown assailants who allegedly approached him, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, hit him in the face, poured an unknown chemical substance on him and wrapped a rope around his neck. The suspects then fled and Smollett traveled on his own to a hospital, where he was said to be in good condition.
Smollett's supporters demonstrated at the Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan.
"JOIN us for a Solidarity Rally for #JussieSmollett and LGBTQ survivors of violence," read a statement on the event's Facebook page. "Black LGBTQ communities, particularly black trans women, have been assaulted, murdered, and face violence every day. With the normalization of violence against queer people, fueled by a toxic racist and anti-LGBTQ political agenda, we must address the ongoing violence against our communities."