Democrats Abroad–Member Spotlight
Brett McHargue–Vice Chair, DAUK
Member Spotlights provide a window into the life of one of our members, as well as an issue that motivates them to continue to vote and volunteer for Democrats Abroad.
When Brett arrived in the UK in July 2000, he intended to return to Texas the following year, but love and life in the UK hooked him in. Now, 22 years later, he’s happily married and still living in the UK.
In 2003, Brett signed up for a biking holiday to Amsterdam, noticing an acquaintance he sang alongside at London Gay Men’s Chorus would also be there. He figured it would be nice to know some people but had no idea how that trip would change his life. Liam, a British citizen from near Liverpool, was also on the trip and with a shared love of traveling, the two really connected. They moved in together in 2004 and got engaged in 2007 at an expertly planned picnic at Wimbledon Park. Liam, the planner in the couple, surprised Brett with two tickets to New York City to see Company, a musical, the very next day!
Brett and Liam got married in 2012–after wedding planning for just 2 months because Liam planned to climb Mount Kilimanjaro! They married at the Marylebone Townhall and settled into domestic bliss. That is, until 2016, when they decided to take a year off and travel throughout Europe, South America, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of the US. Liam did some planning and Brett led them to a few spontaneous things–a perfect combination of their personalities. They returned in 2018 and since then Brett has continued his work as a software developer. Liam decided to switch careers from IT Director to teaching computer science to the next generation as a school teacher. .
Reflecting on this amazing life together, Brett said about getting engaged and married in the UK, “It was really nice to have the government in my corner rather than fighting me every step.” The US did not legalize gay marriage until 2015–8 years after Brett and Liam got engaged and 3 years after they married–and with the recent SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, gay marriage could be next. Brett feels our country is backsliding and he’s grateful to be living freely married to the love of his life in a country that supports that love.
Brett parents are getting older and he would like to spend more time with them but he questions ever moving back to the US, particularly with more and more LGBTQ+ rights being questioned and limited daily. The choice between caring for an aging parent and building a life with your husband shouldn’t be one anyone is faced with. Brett’s wish for the US is that the government–local, state, and national–would cherish all of its citizens regardless of who they love.