Ash Beckham: When to take a stand -- and when to let it go
Ash Beckham - Equality advocate
Ash Beckham approaches hard conversations from a place of compassion and empathy. Full bio
in Ohio for a family wedding,
with Anna and Elsa from "Frozen."
a business of running princess parties.
sprinkle some fairy dust, it's great.
to miss out on the opportunity
and that was "Frozen."
picture taken with the princesses,
without the seasonal restrictions.
Samantha was in the thick of it.
were signing posters and coloring books
with one N to avoid copyright lawsuits.
kids in the parking lot that day,
in August in Ohio.
the scheduled start time,
numbers 21 through 25;
of free face painting or temporary tattoos
that were occurring outside of the store.
I can only describe you
cut-out snowflakes covering the floor,
and icicles all over the walls.
my niece a better vantage point
of the mother of number 58,
by the sight of the princesses.
her excitement only grew,
to the front of the line,
to be signed by the princesses,
running through her body.
at that point, I was pretty excited too.
turns to my niece and says,
or you're going to stay
of a better word, frozen.
we are faced with the question,
about how to have a hard conversation,
to me than the kids in my life,
that we so often find ourselves in,
two impossible choices.
and turn to the clerk and explain to her
her aunt, not her father,
based on haircuts and shoulder rides --
the greatest moment of my niece's life.
take a million pictures,
from the pure joy of that moment,
for not standing up for myself,
Which role was more worth it?
of constant and increasing polarity.
so us and them, so right and wrong.
there is no gray, just polarity.
two ideas or opinions
antiwar, pro-choice, anti-death penalty,
of open borders and pro-union?
Amendment is absolute,
or against us.
and absolutes is that
of our human experience
to our human nature.
in these two directions,
of polarity is duality.
and feminists who wear hijabs,
I should be able to get married.
those are my friends and family,
that is you, that is me.
to hold both things.
Can we own our duality?
to hold both things?
with the busser.
a great relationship,
but significantly better than my Spanish.
we came from very different worlds.
so she could come here
were when she asked about my girlfriend,
from her family back home.
that brought us together.
gathered around a small table,
from the kitchen came over --
the bravado and machismo
[in Spanish] "Does Ash have a boyfriend?"
[in Spanish] "No, she has a girlfriend."
[in Spanish] "A girlfriend?!?"
and locked eyes with him,
a girlfriend. That is all."
to one of maternal respect,
went back to work.
such a short interaction.
so much more in common with him:
her community was her lifeline here,
around in the kitchen in Spanish,
on gayness over her heritage.
her family over our friendship.
was so strongly rooted
to hold both things.
even when it's not convenient.
and if you're going to be an ally,
used to call my girlfriend my lover.
than say nothing at all.
"Well, Ash, I don't care.
or religion or sexuality.
and racism and xenophobia is not love,
then you don't see me.
who I sleep with,
late at night holding her hand,
and have to make the decision
or if I should I drop it
is squeeze it tighter.
and don't have to let go.
and disappointment I feel when I drop it.
because I am gay, then you don't see me.
I need you to see me.
two things just from the fluff,
is just the first step?
and empathy and human interaction
two things, we can hold four,
we can hold eight,
we can hold hundreds.
so many things right now.
the frazzled clerk calls me Dad.
for the wrong gender?
something you are not?
of contrasting emotions.
a combination of rage and humiliation,
is staring at me,
with the frustration that I'm wearing
tight-fitting purple t-shirt,
same thing doesn't happen.
to be seen as the gender I am,
of my body that no one heard --
and certainly not my niece.
to protect the people I love from it.
waiting so long for --
two and a half hours for comes to a close
and I lock eyes with the clerk again;
an apologetic smile and mouths,
her mistake disarms me immediately,
it happens. But thanks."
or an advocate, I can be both.
and I can hold two things.
in that environment,
and skip out the front of the door,
"Was it worth it?"
This was the greatest day of her life!"
and a half hours in the heat,
that we already had a copy of."
getting called Dad."
in my life, it actually was.
About the speaker:Ash Beckham - Equality advocate
Ash Beckham approaches hard conversations from a place of compassion and empathy.
Why you should listen
Ash Beckham is no stranger to hard 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 demons.
Ash Beckham | Speaker | TED.com