By Mira Williamson —

When he attends Ottawa’s No Peace Until Justice march to honour George Floyd on Friday, Osmel Maynes said he will be doing it to help make life better for his young nephew and black people across the world.

“I’m attending because I’m a black man, who is part of the LGBTQ+ community, who has a young nephew who is only a few months old who is going to be growing up in this society,” said Maynes, who is executive director of Capital Pride in Ottawa.

“I want to make sure that he actually has a chance of living in society in this community. And when I mean the community, I mean in this world, or Canada, or the United States, or any place that is continuously moving forward with anti-black racism.”

June is Pride Month, but the focus at Capital Pride as well as other LGBTQ+ organizations this year has been on showing solidarity with anti-black movements across the U.S. and Canada.

Capital pride logo

On June 1, Capital Pride issued a news release to denounce anti-black racism and remind Canadians that activist black and trans women of colour spurred LGBTQ+ and other human rights movements. The statement said Canadians have to acknowledge their colonial history and condemn its consequences.

Maynes, who identifies as an Afro-Latino cisgender queer man, said it’s “imperative and it’s important that voices of POC and black people are heard.”

“We continue fighting for who we are as people. Today is 2020, and we are still fighting for that right of being normal citizens and normal human beings in society today,” he said. “That is why we think it’s important that the world knows that we are against and condemning anti-black racism.”

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