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Two Michigan LGBTQ+ Trailblazers Recognized as Game Changers by Tigers, Red Wings and Comerica Bank

Honors presented but Tigers Pride Night game rained out, postponed

Jason A. Michael
Rachel Crandall Crocker , founder and executive director of Transgender Michigan , was recognized earlier this week as a Game Changer by the Detroit Tigers, the Detroit Red Wings and Comerica Bank. Crandall-Crocker was honored along with A. Nzere Kwabena , executive director of LGBT Detroit, Darin DeWeese , artistic director of PRISM Gay Men and Allies Chorus of Metro Detroit, and Andrea Norton, community engagement and partnership coordinator for Saginaw VA Medical Center.

The four were recognized Tuesday, June 13 at Tigers Pride Night during a special reception and ceremony before gametime, followed by the honorees taking the field. Looking out at the crowd, Crocker-Crandall said she had a “You’ve come a long way, baby” moment.

“The whole thing was, ‘Wow, I really made it,’” she told Pride Source. “People really are aware of what I do. It was just really flattering. I was really honored.”

Crandall-Crocker was so moved that while reliving the moment, she was momentarily speechless. “I wish I could put it into words,” she said. “What I felt when they announced to everyone about what I do, and everyone was clapping and cheering.”

Join us in congratulating our four #Pride Month Game Changers making a positive impact in the Detroit community by working to create an inclusive environment for all! ➡️ https://t.co/QzzTkyNgtW pic.twitter.com/XxW8ZrO4WF

— Detroit Tigers Community Impact (@TigersCommunity) June 14, 2023

But the festivities were short lived. Just after the honorees appeared on the Jumbotron, the rain began, and the game was called off.

“I was going to throw out the first ball,” said Crandall Crocker. But she confessed she was not terribly disappointed to miss that opportunity, since she doesn’t consider herself to be particularly athletic. “That’s why I was kind of happy it rained.”

But all is not lost and, whether she’s ready or not, Crandall-Crocker might just get to throw out the first ball after all. Just after we spoke, she received word that Pride Night would be rescheduled to Aug. 9.

For his part Kwabena, founder and ED of LGBT Detroit, said he appreciated being recognized as a Game Changer. “It was a delight to gather with fellow nominees and movement members to celebrate during the month of June,” he said. “Although a time for play is much needed, we must never rest to keep the gains we have collectively obtained. The work continues.”

 
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