is an educator, musician, performer, community organizer and life-long advocate for social change.
Crispin’s art and advocacy work is rooted in the values of punk music, queer liberation, and compassion. He believes that difference enhances community and difficult dialogue around those differences can transform it. As an LGBTQ+ activist and musician, he believes complexity and conflict are natural and when thoughtfully addressed they lead to growth.
Crispin began his career as a performing musician and public educator, with social justice and queer liberation as ever present themes. A student of theatre and gender studies, his interests center on utilizing creative expression to interrupt systems of oppression. The son of a life-long Chicago Public School educator, he was inspired to work with young people and college aged students across the humanities and social sciences before shifting into full time national advocacy work. He believes that everything we have learned, we have the power to unlearn, and that our liberation lies in that power.
Crispin is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter, and touring rock musician with over twenty years of experience. Crispin played guitar and lead vocals in the queercore outfit, The Recruitment, a critically acclaimed four piece post-punk band, featured at The South by Southwest Music Festival in 2013. He currently performs in the shoegaze grunge trio, Deep Fake.
As a musician, Crispin has intentionally collaborated specifically with LGBTQ+ people, BIPOC folks, and women to subvert the dominant representation of white men in music. He helped curate diverse performance spaces of celebration across the country and is committed to inclusion in the music industry. In 2013 he created the queer, female, and BIPOC focused punk showcase and later sister festival, QueerAMP.
From 2012 through 2017, Crispin worked with Lambda Legal where he served as their Midwest Regional Community Educator, traveling the Midwest leading the company’s field efforts and emerging social impact work. Shortly thereafter, he served as the inaugural Policy and Legislative Advocate at Howard Brown Health and shortly thereafter became Manager of Policy and Advocacy.
Crispin has since focused his work in both the creative industry and public advocacy fields. He has worked closely with a range of professionals from record labels to racial justice organizations and everything in between. He believes that the creative arts can teach us about social justice and vice versa.
In 2014, Crispin was recognized for his work by The Windy City Times ‘30 under 30’ and again in 2015 by The Trans 100.
Crispin has collaborated with an array of organizations such as The ACLU, The Human Rights Campaign, The Task Force (for LGBTQ Equality), GLSEN, GLAAD, AIDS United, The Transgender Law Center, and grassroots organizations like Brave Space Alliance, The Chicago Bond Fund, Chicago Dyke March, Girls Rock! Chicago and The Youth Empowerment Performance.