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The Brave Files Podcast Lekeshia Angelique Episode 169 The Unicorn of Minorities

The Unicorn of Minorities

With Featured Guest

Lekeshia Angelique

INDEFINABLE • NECESSARY • POWERFUL

Top Takeaways From This Episode

  • You have multiple chances to find what’s right for you. If something doesn’t work, you can always try something else.
  • EVERYONE has the opportunity to become a better ally.
  • Empathy is a superpower.
  • It’s okay to be proud of yourself, even (and perhaps especially) when other people aren’t.

Finding Power in Sensitivity 

For Lekeshia Angelique, sensitivity is her superpower. She likes that she can identify and express how she feels. She likes that she can look at someone and understand how they move through the world. Growing up, though, people told Lekeshia that she was too sensitive. The way they said “sensitive” made Lekeshia suspect that they were actually saying that she was weak. She didn't want to be weak. She wanted to be someone that people were proud to know. In her mind, that meant she had to change herself. 

Middle Child Syndrome

Lekeisha's a middle child, caught between an independent older sister and a doted-on younger brother. Her mother used to say that Lekeshia was an independent kid who didn't need as much attention as her brother. Lekeshia did her best to fit the bill. After a while, though, she grew depressed. She realized that she did, in fact, want attention. She wanted to connect with people.

Then, at fifteen, Lekeshia became pregnant. Her parents were shocked and disappointed, and Lekeshia carried their disappointment with her. She didn't want teen pregnancy to define her. She wanted to be someone her parents were proud of. Her dad is a veteran, so, at just seventeen, she graduated high school and joined the Army, too. To her surprise, she ended up hating it. She wanted an out, and found one in a man she married two years after she graduated. She soon became pregnant again, this time with twins.

Atoning, Not Achieving

Despite her substantive role as a mother of three, Lekeshia knew she wanted to go back to college. As a kid, she dreamed of chasing down serial killers—Her heroes were Clarice Starling from Silence of the Lambs and Nancy Drew—So she got her masters in criminal justice.

Getting a master's as a mother of three is a feat, but to Lekeshia, her achievements weren't achievements: They were apologies. She wanted to prove that she was more than her pregnancy. 

Her determination to prove herself led her to push down the more difficult feelings she was having. Looking back, she can say she struggled with postpartum depression. At the time, she shoved it down. She married twice. She got divorced twice. After the second marriage, she began to suspect that she'd never fit into a pre-made box. She started to imagine a box that fit her, rather than trying to make herself fit in someone else's box.

Living Life Out Loud

After some soul-searching, Lekeshia realized she wanted to be with women. She came out as bisexual ten years ago and is currently engaged to a woman she's in love with. Thankfully, her kids adjusted to the truth of her sexuality without issue. Her mother, on the other hand, has a more challenging time with it. It's something they're still working through, ten years later.

Lekeshia made a significant change in her professional life, too. Her masters in criminal justice initially led her to Human Resources, where she unhappily worked for twenty years. In the wake of the George Floyd murder, however, Lekeshia saw a need for better diversity, equity, and inclusion training. Though many had the same idea, Lekeshia believes she's one of few that works to bridge the gap between theory and practice. She started Lekeshia Angelique Consulting last year, where she teaches her model of Genuine Allyship to help professionals build spaces and places of true belonging. 

Lekeshia says her greatest joy is finding herself and finding her soulmate. She spent a lot of time trying to be someone people were proud to know—Now, she's proud just to be herself. 

Learn more about Lekeshia 

Lekeshia Angelique is a diversity consultant and entrepreneur. Through her business, Lekeshia Angelique, she offers one-on-one consults, inclusivity workshops, opportunities to grow as an ally, and more. You can find her on Facebook in her Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lounge. You can also follow her on Instagram.

Giving is Good

Lekeshia supports EmbraceRace, an organization that wants to raise a generation of children who are brave about race. In this world, race matters, whether we like it or not. EmbraceRace offers resources and community-building programs to help those raising children meet the challenges presented by our racialized landscape. Be sure to follow EmbraceRace on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

"I'd gotten so lost in being what everyone else said I should be that I didn't even know who I was."

- Lekeshia Angelique

Meet your Host, <em style="color:teal">Heather Vickery<em>

Meet your Host, Heather Vickery

Heather Vickery is an award-winning business owner and global leader with over 20 years as an entrepreneur. She leverages her entrepreneurial skills and expertise to coach individuals towards greater personal and professional fulfillment by helping them leverage their fear into intentional bravery. Heather says “When we choose bravely, on purpose, we choose bigger, have bigger successes and it’s contagious” A celebrated public speaker, Heather inspires audiences and empowers attendees with the tools they need to live bold and successful lives through creating balance, time management, mindfulness, as well as countless systems, strategies, and boundaries. She’s the author of Gratitude Journal: Shift Your Focus and Grow Grateful: A Gratitude Journal for Kids and Families. Heather is also the host and executive producer of The Brave Files Podcast.

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