We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashton Marshall and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashton, what do you want people to remember about you?
I want my legacy to be how I defied the odds and became successful at creating positive change in my community. I want my legacy to tell the story about how I overcame what should have destroyed me and never used the hate of the world to dim the shinning light that is within me. I want to be remembered that I did everything with love in my heart. I always stand up for what I believed in and I lived my life according to what feels right to me and no one else. I want my legacy to be I was VISIBLE, Vulnerable, and Authentic.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Growing up, I had an innate ability to be in touch and in tune with my feelings. I wanted what many children from single-parent homes yearn for: both parents, attention, love, and toys. So as all inquisitive children do, I found myself asking: why? However, I rarely looked inward for answers to my mental and emotional pains; instead, I looked outward towards situations and circumstances. One reason for this coping strategy was growing up in a religious home alongside my grandmother. She would always say, “God will never put more on you than you can bear.” This coping strategy provided me with the courage and confidence to look past peoples’ surfaces and reflect more deeply upon how their behaviors were shaped. My questionings allowed me to gain empathy and understanding for people and their situations from a young age. This gift of genuinely wanting to understand and help people is my burning desire felt within my soul, which drove me to cultivate my passion for psychology and becoming a licensed marriage and family therapist.
As a practicing therapist, my goal is to provide the mental health support I want for my wife, family, friends, and myself. As a Black Trans Masculine Man, I know how hard it can be to understand, love, and believe in yourself when the world is against you. I also recognize the feeling of being in a room full of strangers, including yourself. Every person and situation are different, but my goal is to walk with you as you build the strength and resiliency needed to conquer life’s battles.
As an LGBTQ+ man raised by a single mother with the help of my southern Baptist grandmother, I know what it is to be seen and not heard. I developed the ability to be in touch and tune with my feelings. However, I rarely looked inward for answers to my mental and emotional pains; instead, I looked outward towards situations and circumstances. The passion to support my community is not taught; it is a burning desire felt within my soul that, as I matured, manifested into a career serving people.
You should have the privilege to understand that there is peace to be gained from being resilient and knowing that you have the strength to handle your future and set your standards for happiness. As we walk this journey together, we’ll acknowledge your past, honor your present, and welcome your future while helping you understand the power you possess just by changing your outlook.
With all of this I was able to created a safe space for others who are just like me.
I created an I am… Support and Enrichment Group Series under Mrs. Edna Abney and Mindful Life Services of Marietta, Ga. My goal is to teach the LGBTQ+ community how to accept, love, and emotionally support themselves as they maneuver through life’s journey to success . With this support and enrichment group series, I have created a safe space where all LGBTQIA+ individuals (young and old) learn how to embrace their unique identity while learning to become and maintain as thriving individuals. The journey to self discovery is not an easy road but my series I am…. HUMAN provides LGBTQ+ individuals with the knowledge, support, and strength to confidently face the world with confidence, autonomy, and pride. As we all learn how to embrace our unique identity, while acknowledging the realities of the world we live in, I am….HUMAN+ Teen Enrichment Program (youth group), I am.. Human+ 2.0 (adult group), and I am..TRANSparent (transgender ONLY) will gently guide all participants on how to deal with the mental, emotional, and physical struggles that many LGBTQ+ individuals face daily
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would set us up on a luxury picnic with LePoshPicnics they are Atlanta’s only full service luxury picnic company Probably walk Atlanta’s Piedmont beltline to the park. We would have to go to The Battery (Braves Stadium) have dinner and dessert. We have to get some exercise in so we would go hiking (Stone Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, Clear Water Creek). We would have to have dinner at South City Kitchen because I really do love their menu!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate my Shoutout to my wife, family and friends that have supported me through my journey. I dedicate this to my community. Those who feels seen but not heard, misunderstood, judged, ignored, and rejected. The credit goes to whoever reads my story and finds inspiration and encouragement to never give in or give up!
Linkedin: Ashton Marshall
Twitter: Ashton Marshall
Photo credit: Mindful Life Productions