Nicolle and her husband are the proud parents of an amazing and talented transgender daughter. In 2017 they joined PFLAG looking for support and resources to better navigate their daughter's gender transition.
Nicolle has always been passionate about Diversity & Inclusion and an ally of the LGBTQ+ community. Over the course of her career as an HR Professional, Nicolle has led numerous Diversity & Inclusion initiatives.
Coincidentally, two years prior to her daughter coming out, Nicolle developed Gender Transition Guidelines, with the goal to let employees know they are supported and to provide managers with tools to support their employees' transition at work.
Understanding all the challenges, love, and support her daughter has experienced, Nicolle wants to help support other families and LGBTQ+ individuals. She strongly believes everyone should have the right to live life authentically.
Meredith Laurie has been living in Washington, D.C. since 2007 when she moved from her native Rhode Island to go to graduate school at The George Washington University. This began a fulfilling career in higher education that Meredith will always regard as some of the most purposeful and important work she has done.
Today, Meredith works as a Human Capital consultant. A what?! In other words, Meredith works with clients to help solve their people problems and think of creative and innovative ways clients can leverage their most critical resource, their workforce!
Meredith, her wife Lindsay, and their dog Gansett just purchased their "hopefully forever home" in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Meredith joined the Metro D.C. PFLAG Board of Directors in 2017 and has been inspired by the commitment of the local community. She hopes to leverage her skills to help further the mission of Keeping Families Together and support local community groups as they do truly amazing work. Meredith is an only child, loves the beach, drinks iced coffee all year long, and is a sports enthusiast.
Kira has been the Web Director of the Metro DC PFLAG Board of Directors since 2018. Her passion for the LGBTQ+ community rights began when her brother came out to their family when he was 16 years old in a very traditional and close-minded country in South America. Her family was very supportive of her brother, and from that moment on, she has worked to make sure everyone has the experience her brother had, since she believes everyone deserves a supportive and loving experience when they share their authentic selves with the world.
She considers herself a proud ally of the community and a big sister for everyone who needs one. She is a Digital User Experience Analyst and as a UXer, she believes good experiences are a must for everyone.
She lives in Arlington, VA with her husband, her 2 dogs and her dad. When she's not helping Metro DC PFLAG with events or editing its website, she volunteers with her dog Sammy in a therapy dog program around the DMV area. Kira loves to travel, she's an Orangetheory Fitness believer, and she enjoys cuddling with her dogs whenever possible.
Benjamin Takai, is the proud fourth generation of his family to call Washington DC home. He spent most of his childhood in Montgomery County and moved to DC to pursue his graduate studies and has been a proud resident ever since.
Ben is an infectious disease epidemiologist with experience in infectious disease prevention policy at the local, national, and international levels. He currently works coordinating the evaluation of HIV, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), Hepatitis, and Tuberculosis prevention services for the city of Washington DC.
He has also served on advisory workgroups for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on national HIV monitoring as well as worked with the Department of Health and Human Services on the development of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the Obama administration.
At the city level, Ben was appointed by Mayor Vincent Gray as an advisor focusing on health policy for the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, advocating for health issues affecting the LGBTQ community. He was subsequently appointed by Mayor Muriel Bowser to advise the Mayor's Office on Asian American and Pacific Islander affairs which he currently serves.
In his free time, Ben enjoys teaching yoga and playing with his rescue dog, Buddy. He is so excited to be a part of an organization that creates safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth and gives the communities the support and resources they need to further this goal.
Phil Hicks, a 56-year-old native of Alexandria, Virginia, served on the Metro DC PFLAG Board of Directors from 2009 to 2013, including two years as Board President.
Phil has focused his attention on the push for Equality in Virginia. The position of Virginia Advocacy Chair allows him to partner with other statewide groups working for that very important mission—changing hearts and minds. Equality includes so much more than the ability to marry. Discrimination takes place in the workplace, churches, and the halls of government every day.
David S. Fishback
David S. Fishback has been active in the Metro DC Chapter of PFLAG since 2002, serving as the Chapter’s Advocacy Chair since 2006. From 2003 to 2005, he was Chair of the Montgomery County (MD) Board of Education’s Citizens Advisory Committee on Family Life and Human Development. He is the author of the 2015 National PFLAG publication Curriculum Victory, Mongtomery County, Maryland: A Case Study and Handbook for Action, has testified before local and state legislative bodies, made presentations at National PFLAG Conventions, and has debated anti-gay spokespersons numerous times on D.C. area television programs.
David was the principal public (and behind the scenes) advocate for full inclusion and effective teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in the health education curriculum of the Montgomery County Public Schools — an approach adopted in part by MCPS in 2007 and in full in 2014. He helped bring useful resources to the MCPS guidance offices and successfully combatted efforts by anti-gay groups to propagandize their reparative therapy notions in the public schools. In addition, he works with families and other stakeholders to secure improvements to, and implementation of, MCPS policies, including the MCPS Gender Identity Guidelines. Gender Identity Guidelines. He also consults with other PFLAG chapters and allies in the region on advocacy issues.
David also represented Metro DC PFLAG in the successful Maryland campaigns to secure civil marriage equality and civil rights for transgender people. He continues to consult with other PFLAG chapters and allies in the region on advocacy issues. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he retired in 2013 from the U.S. Department of Justice. David and his wife Bobbi, who co-wrote the opening chapter of Kulanu: All of Us —A Program and Resource Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Inclusion Kulanu: All of Us--A Program and Resource Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Inclusion (2007), a publication of the Union for Reform Judaism; co-chair the diversity inclusion committee at Temple Emanuel in Kensington; and are the parents of two adult gay sons and grandparents of two wonderful grandchildren.
Other PFLAG-related writing by David may be found in his blog. Click here to check it out.
Mark has developed a strong passion to improve the experiences of LGBTQ Youth and works with many organizations to achieve this aspiration; this volunteer work includes working with FreeState Justice, Metro DC PFLAG, and the MCCPTA, where Mark chairs the newly-created LGBTQ Subcommittee. In his role as Chair, Mark’s proudest achievement is the first-ever LGBTQ Forum which was held in the Spring of 2019 and was co-hosted by MCPS and MCCPTA.
Mark and his family moved from the West Coast to Rockville in 2013 so that his husband could take a dream-job at Marriott International in the Design Group; this promotion allowed Mark to continue his beloved role as a Stay-At-Home Dad. Their twins attend the brand-new Bayard Rustin ES where Mark is active in their School Community.
Mark thanks his first-grade twins for one of his proudest moments as an LGBTQ+ advocate: when they were told that Boundary Changes were forcing them to leave Beall ES and move to a new school that was currently under construction, Emma and Milo asked if the school’s namesake could be “someone like Papa and Daddy”? After Mark found out that the Board of Education had never named a school after an openly-LGBTQ person, he began a grassroots initiative that eventually led to their new school being named after the Civil Rights hero, Bayard Rustin, who was an openly-gay African American. Mark thanks his awesomely supportive spouse, Lionel, and Emma and Milo, who are his inspiration.