A dual national of the United States and Ireland, Brian was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Michigan, and Pennsylvania (again). Minneapolis has been home since 1978. He was an early employee of the Minnesota AIDS Project in the 1980s, a volunteer with the 1987 Minnesota March On Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, and the volunteer coordinator for Minnesota's first AIDS walk in 1988.
Brian has been married (illegally and legally) to his husband since 1990, and they are the proud parents of rescue dogs.
In addition to creative writing and teaching, Brian is a grant writing consultant and is active with Save the Boundary Waters, a campaign to ban copper sulfide mining in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.