In the Beginning
PFLAG Canada, Durham Region was founded by Francine Doucette and Lindsey Clarke in Oshawa, Ontario, in 2003. Francine and Lindsey had the passion for helping other families better understand and accept people in the LGBTQ community–Francine’s son, Lindsey’s best friend, had recently come out and they were looking to create a supportive, social, safe space for families, friends, and others with questions about sexual orientation.
When the national organization, PFLAG Canada, was formed, Durham Region became a chapter. While the roots of PFLAG Durham Region are humble, we have now grown to include over 60 people each month at coffee/sharing nights; we reach over 2,200 people every year through our education seminars; in 2016 we sent over 60 campers to our LGBTQ and Allies Youth Leadership Camp–the first of its kind in Canada; and we have expanded to include Transitions (a supportive social group for trans adults), PFLAG YA (a group for 18 – 29-year-olds that is supportive, social, and safe for LGBTQ and allies), and a number of families have participated in the Gender Journeys program, which will soon be complemented by the Parents of Gender Creative Kids group. In 2017 we will launch our Tweens & Teens group–PFLAG T/T and PFLAG Sports–an inclusive sports league for the LGBTQ community and allies.
PFLAG Durham Region now partners with a number of social justice, advocacy, and community groups that are dedicated to a more diverse, inclusive Canadian society.
Tribute to Lindsey Clarke, co-founder PFLAG Canada Durham Region
Lindsey was one of our Founders who passed away in May 2009, at 38 years of age. She was our active leader at the time of her passing – so the loss was deeply felt and very significant to the Chapter.