While speaking to a crowd of more than 800 people at an event in Boulder, Colo., Ash Beckham decimated the pejorative use of the word gay with a powerful, resonant five-minute speech.
Beckham was speaking as part of a series sponsored by Ignite Boulder, which challenges speakers to make an impact in exactly five minutes, accompanied by 20 visual sildes, set to auto-advance every 15 seconds. Beckham delivered her speech on February 21 at Ignite Boulder 20, self-described as "Public speaking + public geeking."
Noting that she might be preaching to the "gay-loving choir" in Boulder, a liberal college town just outside of Denver, Beckham nonetheless insists on the importance of pushing for acceptance. "You can legislate tolerance," she says. "You can't legislate acceptance. That takes a societal shift."
Watch Beckham's moving spoken-word address below.