Ash Beckham

Ash Beckham

Accidental Activist, Dynamic Speaker, Storyteller

Today we talk to Ash Beckham, a speaker, author, corporate trainer, and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.

Ash shares her journey of self-discovery, the importance of building trust through authenticity, and embracing vulnerability as an ongoing two-way conversation, and reflects on the ripple effect of her TED Talk and her road to becoming an accidental activist.


[01:37] – Dino introduces Ash Beckham, a speaker, author, corporate trainer, and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.

[02:31] – Ash introduces herself and shares that she is a busy mom who also does virtual and in-person speaking, executive, and team coaching, and runs a family business putting on girls’ fast-pitch softball tournaments in Ohio.

[03:52] – Dino discusses the universal experience of having hard conversations, noting how Ash’s TEDx talk from 2013 about coming out of the closet inspired him to invite her to share her framework for authenticity.

[07:43] – Once Ash chose to be openly authentic, she found it difficult to live any other way, discovering that the potential backlash from living her truth was largely exaggerated in her own mind.

[08:31] – Ash believes that regardless of whether a threat is real or perceived, the fear response can still arise.

[09:19] – Ash emphasizes the importance of building trust by being authentic. And shares why she took responsibility for having difficult conversations for those who couldn’t.

[10:45] – Ash stresses that we all live in the gray middle where we need to find commonalities through our similarities first, then open the door to conversation about taboo subjects.

[11:40] – Authenticity is not just something one does, but who they are, and that changes over time.

[13:52] – Authenticity doesn’t have to equate to constant struggle, but being true to oneself and figuring out what authenticity means in different circumstances

[15:28] – To be an effective advocate, it’s crucial to evaluate the situation’s context, desired outcomes, and personal motivations.

[17:01] -The importance of having a personal conversation about vulnerability while being aware that it can result in changed relationships.

[18:29] – Ash recommends three steps to dealing with potential pushback when embracing vulnerability.

[20:33] – When dealing with pushback when embracing vulnerability, it’s important to make it an ongoing two-way conversation rather than a one-time discussion.

[21:18] – Dino discusses the process of becoming authentic and evolving to fully embrace vulnerability.

[22:49] – Ash shares her journey of self-discovery and what inspired her to become an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.

[26:34] – Courageously facing the uncertainty of letting go of prescribed life stereotypes and advocating for acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community while hoping for familial acceptance of her true self.

[28:28] – Dino praises Ash’s empathy, citing her sister’s wedding and her bravery in using her own experiences for advocacy while considering the opposing perspective.

[29:51] – Ash reflects on her past behavior of excessively expressing her identity while stressing the importance of self-acceptance and progress, even without full understanding.

[32:49] – Ash discusses the importance of meeting people where they are to help them understand and become allies.

[33:22] – The importance of authenticity for everyone, not just certain groups, in corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

[34:24] – Ash explains the importance of putting oneself in a position where they are the minority to understand how it feels.

[35:17] – Ash differentiates between hiring markers for diversity and inclusion versus true inclusion and belonging.

[37:39] – Authenticity is a skill that can be developed through practicing it in places that are easy and gradually moving towards being more authentic with others.

[40:13] -The price of advocating for authenticity and acceptance and why it’s vital to tap into our truth without worrying about being judged.

[43:48] – An accidental activist’s journey to becoming a TEDx talker.

[45:36] – Authenticity opens the doors to leadership: Ash reflects on how being authentic turned her into a leader and inspires others to lead through everyday actions.

[46:14] – “The ripple effect of authenticity is unbelievable. You are inherently a leader when you are authentic.”

[47:14] – Ash shares her passion for yoga despite not being very flexible and why she believes it’s important to do things she’s not good at.

[48:28] – We’re always someone’s mentor, and we’re always someone’s student, and that flows both ways all the time.

[49:19] – Ash shares the jargon that drives her crazy (with a caveat).

[51:10] – Ash shares that listening to the podcast “We Can Do Hard Things” with Glennon Doyle, Abby Wambach, and Amanda Doyle is enriching her soul and feels like a therapeutic experience that connects her to others and their struggles, making her feel less alone.

Contact dino at:

Websites: or

Other Ash Beckham links:

Book: Step Up: How to Live with Courage and Become an Everyday Leader


Twitter: @ashbeckham


Instagram: @theashbeckham

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