May 2023
LGBTQ+ Pride

Do You Really Belong Here?

The Rev. Isaiah “Shaneequa” Brokenleg, a Lakota two-spirit and member of the Presiding Bishop’s staff, explores essential questions of belonging in this wide-ranging conversation on the intersection of race, culture, gender, faith, and identity in the Episcopal Church. Committed to serving in liminal spaces – at moments of transition, reconciliation, death, and discernment – Shaneequa encourages us to learn from the disparate voices and traditions within the church, placing relationships at the heart of our work. Both in her life and in her ministry, she provides a powerful example of what it means to honor difference and create a space that truly welcomes all.

“Remember that we are made in the image of God. And that means that God is not white. God is black, and brown, and tan, and everything. God is fat, and skinny, and everything. God is . . . cisgendered, and transgendered, and non-binary, and all those things. And we will never look into the eyes of someone that God does not love, even if we look in the mirror.”

The Rev. Isaiah “Shaneequa” Brokenleg is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and a priest in the Diocese of South Dakota. She is the Staff Officer for Racial Reconciliation for the Episcopal Church and works to bring an end to the structural violence and oppression that hurts us all. As a winkté (Lakota two-spirit) she believes that we are all related (Mitakuye Oyasin) and that she is called to move communities toward healing and positive change.

This article is part of the May 2023 Vestry Papers issue on LGBTQ+ Pride