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Kreuzer Hosts Pride Event

Cooley Law School recognized Pride Month with a virtual Community Conversation event held on June 13. Rickie Kreuzer, a student at Cooley and founder, executive director and board president of LGBTQ+ advocacy group, Chosen Family of Michigan, was the featured speaker. 

“I was one of the first openly LGBTQ people in my graduating class,” said Kreuzer. “I came out in eighth grade and it was kind of a lonely journey. I found a lot of safety in many of the teachers, and also learned how to talk with people I disagreed with, and ultimately changed hearts and minds and felt more accepted where I grew up.”

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Rickie Krueger

During the event, Kreuzer covered various sexual orientations, gender identities, and other positive and harmful terms that are prominent within the LGBTQ+ community. Attendees also had the opportunity to discuss their own experiences and what is being done in their communities to support the LGBTQ+ community. Many shared how their experiences influence how they interact with the world, and ways that communities can support positive change. 

“We know that facts and statistics have their place, but ultimately, we know that those can actually create confirmation bias where they dig deeper into their false beliefs,” Kreuzer explained. “The best way to change hearts and minds is through lived experiences – we do that through storytelling, and by sharing our stories so that they can live vicariously through us.”

Throughout the conversation, Kreuzer emphasized the importance of advocacy and community, especially to the law students in attendance and those already in the legal profession. As a law student himself, Kreuzer expressed that his legal education has inspired him to not only become a better advocate for diversity, but to write impactful legislation and argue more efficiently.

“Depending on who your client is, you can craft an argument that might accomplish the goals of organizations, politicians, or people who are anti-LGBTQ, and I would say that you would be using your law degree as a weapon,” said Kreuzer. “I hope you’re attempting to use your law degree as a shield, to shield people from hate and bigotry, and to ensure that when you know human rights and civil rights are at play, that even if you don’t understand somebody, if they’re not negatively affecting other people, then they should be able to live their lives and be a part of our society.”

Kreuzer has been an LGBTQ+ advocate with the Human Rights Campaign, participated in voter education with the League of Conservation Voters, and served as a relational organizer for Michigan United/Michigan People's Campaign while leading the LGBTQ+ initiatives during the 2020 general election. In 2023, Kreuzer served as a consultant to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Medicaid HIV Quality Improvement Policy Group. He currently serves on the Michigan HIV/AIDS Council’s Policy and Advocacy Committee.

Jun 14 2024