From Cabaret to Courtroom
Deian McBryde has a long history of working in several different industries and companies before he became a lawyer focusing on family law and divorce. In the LGBTQ+ community, he served as the Executive Director of OutMusic, and he created the OutMusic Awards, a community-based international LGBTQ+ music award. He was also the Executive Director of Rainbow25 and worked with the late Gilbert Baker (the creator of the Rainbow Flag) to make a 1.25-mile-long rainbow flag sponsored by Absolut®, that was carried by 3,000 volunteers across Key West from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico to commemorate the flag’s 25th anniversary in 2003.
As his next step after LGBTQ+ activist, insurance executive, nightclub singer and event producer, yoga instructor, business consultant, and corporate trainer, Deian decided to become a lawyer. He was inspired during dinner with a longtime friend, who surprised him by suggesting law school. Since then, he has not turned back and now runs his own law firm, McBryde Law in Albuquerque, New Mexico, focusing on family law and divorce. Deian says, “After a life spent chasing, literally, every rainbow, the law drew me in. My life has been fascinating, but I knew it was time to create something more stable for myself.”
McBryde Law LLC: Part of the Family
Deian is proud of the environment he has created at McBryde Law “I wanted a culture, not just a business. I wanted to be part of a culture that gives and expects the benefit of the doubt, collaboration, inquiry. A culture where my clients see me as someone to help them take care of themselves and their kids.” Deian focussed on family law and divorce because of his own desire for stability and safety and connecting with clients empathetically on those goals. “I felt drawn to help others have a safe and stable path. My whole life has been about moving safely from one place to the next place, whether that’s from one yoga pose to another, one set of business practices to something new, or from an unhappy marriage into a new place in life.” He adds, “I think it is helpful for people to have an attorney who can show them that life can be better and can help them get there.” He is especially proud to have been invited to join the Family Law Institute® this year, saying, “Being out and proud still matters, and I’m excited to connect with other attorneys in our community supporting our family.”
Regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Deian discussed similarities during the AIDS epidemic, in which he lost one of his closest friends. “I was a very young man early in the epidemic. I remember going to the dentist and finding the staff was covered head-to-toe because they didn’t know if or how the virus might be transmitted. Whether you had HIV or not, any gay man was suspect, and lots of providers treated us like a danger and a risk.” Reflecting on this time, he recalls stories of people dying alone because of the fear of HIV transmission, something he finds heartbreakingly similar in the coronavirus emergency. The rumors propagated during the time of the AIDS epidemic caused many in the LGBTQ+ community to become isolated because of fear and discrimination. Now again, Deian worries that misinformation about COVID-19 will cause a rise in racism, based on fear of the unknown and a tendency toward bias instead of understanding and compassion.
“I’m worried that there will be another epidemic soon, that of loneliness,” Deian says. “Our LGBTQ+ community already faces challenges among our elders who are aging alone, many without families or close friendships, and many other community members dealing with depression. Under restrictions and stay-at-home orders, people may become even more lonely and, without at least some limited social interaction, our community may be hit especially hard.” Deian advises us all to check in on our loved ones, especially our LGBTQ+ seniors and single friends, to help them feel less isolated.
Looking back on his career, Deian says, “I feel blessed. I have been helped, supported, and guided throughout my life by wonderful friends and mentors. I am grateful for their support and for the chance to have an amazing life.” All of us with the National LGBT Bar congratulate Deian on the choice of his latest career and are proud to have him as a member of the Bar and the Family Law Institute®.