Jim DeYoung was born in Halifax and attended St. Patricks School, Brunswick St. & St. Stephen's School, Leeds Street & St. Patrick's High School, Quinpool Road. He attended Bishop College (Lennoxville, QUE) and CDI College (Vancouver, BC)
He was involved with the gay community of Halifax at an early age (having come out to his family at 16). He worked for CNR Sleeping & Dining Car dept, which became VIA Rail On Board Services in time. He started as a dishwasher, then Waiter, Cook Assistant, Steward Waiter, Dinning Car Steward, and Sleeping Car Conductor & On Board Services Coordinator. During his employ with the railway, he became a union member of the Canadian Brotherhood of Railway, Transport & General Workers, Local 333 of Halifax, now the Canadian Auto Workers. In spite of being widely known to his fellow workers as being gay, he was elected as Local Recording Secretary (which was the day to day administrative officer) and remained so, undefeated, consecutively for 17 years. He represented the Local (333) at all national conventions & served on negotiation committees & various other committees. He took many courses through both the railway & the union, such as French language (rated bi lingual on completion), Public relations (including publishing & speaking), labour laws (federal & provincial), administration & bookkeeping.
This training served him well in many ways to assist the gay community of Halifax, in later years, as well as his union members.
In 1971, Jim, along with EdSlade, JohnMarr, CynthiaWatts?, AnneFulton, JohnHurlbert, EmeraldGibson, DavidGray & others, started to organize the homophile community in both political activism and trying to establish a social club to fund these activities.
Having worked at the GreenLantern Club (TheeClub) on Barrington Street in 1971, he also worked at the Gay Alliance for Equality's (GaeGala) new The Turret Club (across the street from the GreenLantern on Barrington) on both the board & as a volunteer Bartender, & any other duties needed. He was one of the early founders of the Gay Alliance for Equality, giving generously of his Time, Money & Experience, to get them off the ground & to become one of the largest, best funded gay groups in eastern Canada & USA. He served on the Board of the old Rumours, when it opened in the basement of the GreenLantern Building (across from the Tex Park Garage) and New Rumours, when the club moved to Gottingen Street.
In 1991 he retired from VIA early, moved to Vancouver BC, and established his own video company. He got involved with the homophile community there, by becoming a volunteer for one year and then executive Director of The Gay & Lesbian Food Bank. He joined the Dogwood Monarchist Society & was President 1995-1996, Phoenix Heraldic society (later re established as the Rhinestone Phoenix Charity Foundation and became the renamed Society's founding Treasurer) & the Knights Of Malta (becoming Road Captain, then Secretary & finally Treasurer, which he still is, and I was Knight of the year for the years 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 & 2012. ) and a member of the Greater Vancouver Native Cultural Society. He also became founding Treasurer of Western Canada Leather Pride of Vancouver (in 1999), and served as such until Feb 2004, when he retired from that position, and is a volunteer at Positive Living BC (formerly known as BC PWA.) He is best remembered by associates, co-workers & friends as opinionated but willing to listen to others' ideas & adopt them if better than his own.
He has always tried to involve people around him in volunteering and making a difference in their lifestyles, for the betterment of the whole community.
A good example of this was the BillettingService he established so that gay/lesbian visitors to Halifax would have a place to stay (with volunteer hosts who could help orientate them) and came up with the motto "you don't have to put out, to be put up." When he finally gave up this project, he had 35 volunteer hosts who had put up 385 gay/lesbian visitors to the city, from all over the Maritimes, elsewhere in Canada, and the USA.
Rarely recognized properly, he's received the following: an arts degree; a long service trophy from the CBRT & GW (his union) for 17 years of outstanding long service; a president's trophy from the Dogwood Monarchist Society for outstanding service; many certificates of service & appreciation from various charitable societies of Vancouver; a Vanguard of the Community Award in 2003 from Halifax Pride for his work 30 years ago in Halifax; the 2001 President's award from the Knights of Malta for outstanding service, as well as being Knight Of The Year for the Knights of Malta for the years 1999, 2000, 2002 & 2003.
Jim moved to Vancouver in 1991, and died there in July, 2014.
In September 2011, Bill Pusztai did a HistoryProjectInterview with Jim.