Anne joined the Board of Toronto Pflag Board in 2012 and was elected President in May, 2014. Anne is a government relations and communications professional with experience from the public and private sectors as well as government. She is the principal at Creighton Consulting. In addition to volunteering with Toronto Pflag, she sits on the Board of the Catholic Children’s Aid Society and is a member of the Government Affairs Committee of Covenant House. Anne lives in Toronto with her husband Hugh O’Reilly and their two children, Amy and Richard. Amy came out when she was 16 by sending Anne a text. Realizing this now qualified Anne and Hugh as Pflag-ers, they got on the phone and volunteered.
Michael Ain joined Toronto Pflag’s Board of Directors in 2010. Having an extensive working background in LGBT events and entertainment, as an active volunteer, entrepreneur and advocate, Michael works with Toronto Pflag to help raise visibility and build stronger community connections to spread Pflag’s broader message of love. Born and raised in North Toronto, Michael watched first-hand the impact Toronto Pflag has had on the broader community, starting at age 17 with his own family, when Michael's Mom, Dad and sister proudly marched alongside Toronto Pflag in Toronto's Pride Parade to voice their support. At 33, Michael now volunteers with Toronto Pflag’s Board to pay-it-forward, and help magnify the message of Pflag love inspired by his own home-experience as a gay man.
After volunteering at a variety of Toronto Pflag events, Vera joined the Toronto Pflag Board of Directors in 2012 and currently serves as Secretary. She is the owner of ReACT 911, a company providing First Aid, CPR, and AED training. In addition to volunteering with Toronto Pflag, she is an active volunteer member of the Canadian Ski Patrol System and a ski instructor. Vera lives in Toronto with her husband and their two straight daughters. Vera and her family have had the opportunity to meet and develop close relationships with several gay individuals and have witnessed the lack of acceptance and understanding that is often experienced by those in the LGBTQ community. By becoming an ally with Toronto Pflag, they hope to play a small part in increasing awareness, education and outreach to both the LGBTQ and straight communities.
Giselle’s lifelong passion for helping others began at age 14, when she volunteered at a children’s center to engage with severely disabled youth. Over the past 40 years, she has volunteered at Women’s Shelters, organized fundraising events, and chaired parent councils at many of her childrens’ schools. Giselle and her husband Alan are the proud parents and vocal allies of three amazing children - one transgender, one gay, and one straight. They also have two precious grandchildren (so far). Giselle joined the Toronto Pflag board in 2015 and chairs the Support Committee. Through Toronto Pflag, she focuses on keeping families together by offering her experience and support to LGBTQ2 folks and their families, and by educating people on LGBTQ2 issues. She often takes that further and speaks with parents one-on-one. Giselle also co-facilitates TRANSceptance, a monthly peer support group for parents of trans folks, hosted by CTYS. When Giselle is not volunteering and advocating for the LGBTQ2 community, she runs her personal training business and spends as much time as possible with her cherished family.
Ryan has worked and volunteered in LGBTQ2S* communities for over 10 years, including 5 years as Director of Research, Policy and Development with a national LGBTQ2S* human rights charity. Ryan currently works as a policy, training and community engagement consultant on issues relating to equity, diversity and inclusion, specializing in youth mental health promotion, housing and homelessness, safer schools and inclusive education, hate crime prevention, workplace inclusion, and sport inclusion. Ryan joined the Board of Toronto Pflag in 2016, excited to support the amazing moms and dads who so proudly and visibly live their love for their LGBTQ2S* children, every day of their lives.
Preferred pronouns: They/Them/Theirs
Kathy O'Connell joined the board in 2016. Her background in in Cognitive Neuroscience. After learning she has a transgender family member, she discovered the huge postive impact that parental support has on trans young people. She is involved in online support groups that help parents of trans youth and kids understand how to provide that support. She also serves on Rainbow Health Ontario's Gender Independent Kids Advisory Committee. At the Gender Odyssey conference in Seattle, she heard about research confirming that, on average, the mental health of trans youth with strong parental support does not differ from their cisgender peers.