Brad Holland: Musician, Attorney, Tribal Elder

by Bruce Hyland
Photo credit: Daniel Snyder

Head and shoulders photo of Brad Holland

Brad is a life-long advocate for those who are less advantaged, and a musician and lawyer retired from the Office of the Pima County Attorney. Today, Brad is pleased to act as attorney with Homicide Survivors.

“When I feel helpless. I attempt to be helpful.” Brad doesn’t dwell on his or others’ fears. He’s too busy doing something about it. At the same time he acknowledges that the fear is real. The pain and suffering break his heart.

One way that Brad is helping is by being “tribal elder” to his younger co-workers who are panicking. (His co-workers are Victim Advocates with Homicide Survivors.) You can imagine him raising his eyebrow at them and saying, ““This is NOT Daddy’s First Plague.” He is not making light of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, he is sharing lessons from it.

He remembers back to those times. “Back then, we didn’t know anything about anything. Like now. There was a blanket uncertainty. Like now.”

He says he tries to be the guy he needed then: Someone to guide, console and give perspective. He reminds them that their world totally changed in a few weeks. Coming to grips with that will take time. He and his colleagues are working from home, but they connect during the day electronically.

He cites some heroic actions he’s observed. Jo Schneider, the owner of Bentley’s and La Cocina, is offering daily free lunches for restaurant servers. People are supporting small businesses by buying gift certificates. Neighbors are helping neighbors.

He says, “I discipline myself to relax into the Not Knowing. I realize I have no real control.” Brad admits he’s one of those who believes a pony is buried in the pile of manure.

His message to Senior Pride: “We older LGBTQ+ have hard-won training to deal with this. We know how to survive a plague. We can be community helpers and healers. Who else has been through this, but us?”