“We can’t expect everyone to just be enlightened on what our causes are.”
~ Ash Beckham
Ash Beckham tells us what it’s like to have her speeches and her work around equality go viral and how to communicate equality with a sense of humor and without aggression.
“There is nothing lonelier than a closet, no matter what it is.” ~ Ash Beckham
Ash Beckham’s Viral Videos “Coming Out of Your Closet” & “I am so Gay”
Info from Ash Beckham’s site:
Ash Beckham is a bold, dynamic presenter who speaks about empathy, respect and the power of having real conversations.
In her work, she shares how coming out as a lesbian helped her appreciate our common humanity and better understand the hardships that we all face. This equality advocate mixes personal experience and wisdom to help everyone bravely face their personal demons, while also positively contributing to a larger societal shift.
Online videos of her 2013 TEDx talk “Coming Out of Your Closet” and her Boulder Ignite speech “I am SO GAY” have gone viral with more than six million YouTube views.
Exactly one year to the day after she launched her public speaking career with her Boulder Ignite speech, she earned the honor of having her TEDx talk featured on the TED’s homepage.
Significantly, her message has also become a topic of global discussion. Ash reaches millions every day as her inspiring speeches are experienced in classrooms, boardrooms and auditoriums around the world.
Description of her Keynote Speech “GIVE VOICE TO YOUR TRUTH”:
With an arresting blend of urgency and humor, Ash takes on topics like the crippling experience of being trapped in a closet, the difference between tolerance and acceptance, and the need to remove the word “gay” as a pejorative from our lexicon. With wildly funny and poignant stories, and a tough yet deeply compassionate stance, Ash tells us how to take off the armor and be our authentic selves. She tells us how to get real.
Ash declares to her audiences:
“Hard is Hard. There is no Harder. There is only Hard.”
She gives us permission to relate to each other as direct, authentic, unapologetic human beings. Rather than serving up candy-coated optimism, her stories offer listeners something more tangible. She elevates her audience beyond empathy into the realm of personal discovery, and challenges every listener to take personal responsibility for creating a much bigger societal shift.
Ultimately, Ash advocates for freedom. Freedom to give voice to your truth, freedom to love without limits, freedom to be the person you were intended to be.
Description of the workshop Ash leads for K-12 & college educators called “The Accidental Advocate”:
This workshop addresses the concept that few educators entered their jobs with the intention of becoming an LGBTQ advocate, but now many find themselves on the front lines of this battle at their own schools. The workshop begins with a basic LGBTQ 101 info session so everyone is on the same page regarding definitions, language and evolving lexicon. Ash and participants then discuss the challenges facing advocates for LGBTQ students’ rights in a workshop format geared more towards brainstorming & idea sharing than a traditional “How To” lecture.
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Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photos: Ash Beckham