Honouring our Past Presidents
PFLAG Canada, Durham Region is not only honoured by the time and commitment from individual board members, but specifically individuals who have taken the lead role as President.
The presidential role is the direction, commitment, and light; these people have given more than their time: they dedicated their passion and instilled their values and direction into our organization and the community. We want to ensure the world knows who they are and thank them for their generosity, guidance, and support.
Our Past President is Madison Giles
Francine Doucette / Lindsey Clarke
PFLAG Canada – Durham ON was formed in Oshawa, Ontario, in 2003, through the work of Durham residents, Francine Doucette and Lindsey Clarke. Francine and Lindsey had the passion for helping other families to understand and to accept as Francine’s son, who was Lindsey’s best friend, had recently come out of the closet.
Francine and Lindsey connected with other PFLAG Chapters such as PFLAG Toronto to get the information and guidance needed. Later they became a Chapter of PFLAG Canada when the national organization was formed. Very few people showed up at the first meetings, but those who did were determined and dedicated. Josie Caruso was one of the first members of PFLAG Canada Durham and continues working today as one of the lead facilitators. The main goal of these meetings was to talk with parents, youth and families who were having trouble accepting that their children and/or friends and even themselves, were
LGBT. There were also those parents and guardians who were concerned that their children would have a harder time in life because they were LGBT. PFLAG helped these parents and guardians see that their kids are fine just the way they are.
Anji and Jane Dimitriou-Currie
As many of you know, Ange and I were assaulted in 2008, and as a result of that tragic event came the amazing support and love from PFLAG. PFLAG rallied around us and brought light to a situation that for most people, goes unreported. Ange and I then decided to give back, and we wanted to be a part of a great cause that helps all LGBT persons. We will always hold a special place in our hearts for PFLAG and will forever be grateful for the support. Always remember with PFLAG, you’re never alone.” Thank you for the memories!!!
I dedicated my time as president and current treasurer to an organization in it’s infancy. PFLAG Durham was still very small when I started, still struggling to spread awareness in a community that was often hostile and unwilling to change in many ways: this is why I dedicated my time to PFLAG. Many years previous my son was bullied, marginalized, raped, and abused; I couldn’t make a difference for him but I wanted to ensure that it would change for other young people. Little did I know I would be presenting in schools, supporting on a peer-to-peer level, and facilitating our growing sharing nights. With the help of our Board we developed our first ever mainstream fundraising event in order to launch the first ever LGBTQ Youth leadership camp in Ontario—the dream of pioneers, including Jayme Harper and Garrett Metcalf.
I am proud to be a past president of PFLAG Durham and to be part of what is now the most active chapter of PFLAG Canada.
Incorporation President – brought PFLAG Canada Durham Region to be incorporated in 2011
PFLAG Canada Durham Region is a second family to me. When my daughter came out our family was fully accepting but I learned this not always the case.
I joined PFLAG to further their efforts to make Durham Region an inclusive community where everyone is welcomed and celebrated.
I have a passion for human rights across the board through my passion at UNIFOR Local 222 (Formally CAW). In my community service it was a natural fit to not only work with PFLAG Canada Durham Region but to be in a leadership role. I value the impacts made not only on the community but in my personal contributions to PFLAG and the value I received back in giving my time.
Human rights are very important to me. Volunteering with PFLAG Canada Durham Region allows me to help “make a difference” in my community by providing education and support to the LGBTQ communities and their allies.
I became a member and took an interest in PFLAG Canada Durham Region when my daughter came out to me in 2011. She was scared and really wasn’t expecting that my reaction would be one of support.
I watched her being bullied because of her choice of gender identity and wanted to somehow be able to make a difference in other teens lives who have gone through and still go through this. It was a rollercoaster ride for a few years with her but she no longer tolerates what people think of her and she takes a stand for the LGBTQ community along with myself.
After being on the board for a few months, I went from having an administration portfolio to Vice President and within a year, became President.
Having the role of President in this organization is a wonderful experience. I have met many wonderful people along the way, have attended many functions, have made some tough decisions, but what is most rewarding out of it all is knowing that you have made a difference in someone’s life. Whether it be helping someone struggling with their gender identity or expression, talking with someone so they will not cause self harm to themselves or just being a friend to talk to, it is rewarding and worth it all for every minute I put into volunteering for this organization.
I’m proud to have met this second family and will continue inspiring change and spreading awareness! Hopefully with PFLAG Canada Durham Region’s efforts, this community will one day accept ALL people for who they are.