Friday, November 20, 2009


Hey, people! If you're in the Philadelphia or Philadelphia-adjacent vicinity tomorrow evening (that would be Saturday, November 21), plan to join me and more than 20 other LGBT writers for a Read-A-Thon to benefit Giovanni's Room, one of our finest independent bookstores, and the Lambda Literary Foundation.

The evening -- which will be held inside the bookstore at South 12th Street and Pine Street in Philadelphia -- kicks off at 7:00 PM, and features the following authors:

Paul Russell
Mark Merlis
Rob Byrnes (that's me!!)
Bob Smith
Cheril N. Clarke
Victoria Brownworth
Scott Sherman
David Carter
S. Renee Bass
bobbi marolt
Ken Harvey
Thom Nickels
Elliott Mackle
Brian Sloane
Tim Brough
Steve Berman
Perry Brass
Jim Gladstone
Bill Konigsberg
Livia Lllewellyn
Malinda Lo

I'll be reading on the first floor at 8:30, by the way. Not that I'm putting any pressure on you. Nuh-uh.

100% of the proceeds from tickets sales will be donated to the two sponsors. The suggested donation is $25 and tickets are available at the door. (You can also get tickets at all four TLA Video stores.)

Oh yeah, there will also be wine and snacks. I am unfortunately on a medically-prescribed liquid diet right now, but -- fortunately -- wine qualifies!

So come here us read! Come buy books! Come meet FARB and Bradykins!

Doesn't that sound like the Best. Saturday night. Ever?

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Oops! Looks like John Kerry's daughter got picked up for DWI last night. Thank God for Matt Drudge, who put it on his website, or I would not have known this.

The lesson obviously is that Democrats are irresponsible drunkards (yay!) who endanger the lives of others (uh... boo!) Bad Democrats! Bad!

Huh? Oh, this? Nothing to see here. Move along please.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Joe.My.God. commenters? Fark commenters? Come here a sec and have a listen.

IT'S SATIRE!!!!! What the hell is wrong with you people?!!!

Sigh. This is why we can't have nice things on the Internet.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Chris Crocker didn't get a fruit basket, and now he hates.

Life is cruel and tough, it is...


Around this time of year, I get inundated with sales solicitations. (Thanks, Crain's New York!) Like this one that appeared in my in-box this morning:

I'm reaching out in regards to your marketing efforts. Here at [redacted] we have been working with companies like yours in regards to their marketing...


PS - With our wide range of services and value, there are many project we can't handle.
I know what I meant. I also know he typoed himself out of business consideration and straight into mockery.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


From Gay City News on the New York State Senate's new commitment to bring the marriage equality bill to a vote:

The commitment brokered did not come easy. According to several sources with direct knowledge of the discussions, for much of the day the leadership held out for its status quo position — that a vote would come only when success was assured, whatever that means precisely. In addition to the accountability issue, that made it likely the bill’s consideration would spill over into 2010, an election year for governor and the Legislature, the wrong time for taking action on controversial issues.

You know what? New York State senators serve two-year terms, so they can always claim it's "the wrong time for taking action on controversial bills." It's always either an election year or the year before that. I'm glad LGBT advocates didn't let the senate leadership get away with that bullshit claim.

By the way, a friend e-mailed me yesterday after my rant was posted here to tell me he thought I was being rash, and that a straight up-or-down vote could result in defeat of the legislation. To which I said, "I know that. In fact, that wouldn't surprise me."

If the bill is defeated, it can always be reintroduced. The State Assembly routinely voted down LGBT equal rights legislation for years until it finally passed. If the majority of the Senate does not support marriage equality, the world won't end. We can go on to fight another day.

But how is not voting for the bill better than losing a floor vote? Answer: it isn't.

And I want all of them -- Democrat, Republican, conservative, progressive, moderate, male, female, Upstate, Downstate -- to go on the record. I want to know who my friend are, and I want to know who isn't my friend.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


So let me get this straight... so to speak.

Barack Obama is just too damn busy to deal with Don't Ask/Don't Tell and DOMA. Was so busy, in fact, that he couldn't even voice an opinion on the referendums in Maine and Washington. Couldn't utter "support" or "oppose," for that matter, because there's just so much to do and he's in constant motion rushing from one economic thing to another military thing to another global warming thing without a single moment to catch his breath, because if he broke his stride the world economy would collapse and Pakistan would nuke Albania and terrorists would attack Six Flags Over Tulsa.

Uh... okay.

Fortunately, the New York State Senate can always be counted on to go one step further.

Challenged by Governor Paterson and the Empire State Pride Agenda to vote up or down on a same-sex marriage bill, many senators are claiming that they shouldn't vote on it at all, because the state economy demands all their attention.

Okay, it's true that the New York State economy sucks, as it does for many states. But it's also true that these 62 men and women are not spending their every waking moment crunching numbers. Quite the contrary.

Hey -- I worked for the state legislature for 14 years. I know how Albany works, and at any given time probably 58 of them are milling aimlessly around the Senate floor like herd animals looking for a patch of grass to chew.

Moreover, how difficult can it be to vote "yes" or "no" on a same-sex marriage bill. Is this a new issue to them? One they had never before thought about? Of course not.

They don't want to vote because they don't want to take a position. Because, for all their occasional bombast, almost every one of them is afraid to not be everything to everyone.

In the New York State Senate, you don't even need to use your voice to vote. You just push a button. Any one of 20 digits -- plus, perhaps, one's chin or nose -- can do the job.

So it's not a matter of time, it's a matter of will.

And, yes, it's a matter of principle. Or lack thereof.

Do the right thing, senators. Vote yes, or vote no. But have the decency to let us know where you stand before this year ends.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Can you figure out which one of these Drudge Report headlines doesn't belong in the set?

Good job! You're already smarter than 52% of Maine!


The Republicans New, Pure Republicans have apparently developed the perfect strategy for a 535-member Democratic congressional majority! Ingenious!

Let the purges begin!

Monday, November 02, 2009


Wow... it's been so long since I blogged that I almost couldn't find my password. Uh... sorry. For future reference, that password is: BUY-BYRNES-BOOKS... although I suppose I have to change it now. Wouldn't want you messing up my Twitter feed, and all that.

Anyway, before I give you my endorsements -- which you will obey -- you should know what I think about politics. Not the bullshit that idiots on the left and idiots on the right ascribe to me when they make assumptions (based on, uh, no facts) about my beliefs; the real deal. Read it, judge it, then decide.

Hmm. Maybe I shouldn't term those people "idiots." They're probably smart... ish. Just unable to think outside the talking points. But it would be convenient if they'd coordinate, because -- when I can read on one night I'm getting my talking points from Bush/Cheney, and on another that I'm part of the gay outing clique. Eh... that's the Internet for you. No one -- especially that NG/Nelson guy, who is probably the most humorless fool with a computer (remember?) -- has to think too hard, otherwise it would hurt.

So, here are a few things I believe:

1. The government doesn't owe you a living. Get off your ass and work, dammit! But:

2. If you can't work, the government owes you a decent living. Not a great living, but decent. Did you ever notice how almost everyone opposed to "government handouts" is able-bodied and employed? And did you ever notice the minute they become handicapped or unemployed, their attitude changes? Yeah. But:

3. Every time you fall, it's not the government's fault. Or even the private sector's fault. Maybe not even your fault. Still, pick yourself up and go for it again. And again, and again.

PERSONAL INTERJECTION: Almost 13 years ago, I moved to Manhattan from Upstate New York (after a very successful 14-year career with the New York State Assembly) and figured I'd have no problem getting a high-paying job. I was wrong; months later I started rebuilding my career from scratch. If, at age 38, I could start all over again like I was fresh out of college, you can, too. Nothing wrong with a little humility in exchange for a paycheck.)

4. Coming out was the best thing that happened to me... NOT because it saved my life (which, of course, it did), but because it helped me gain an insight into what it was like to NOT be a heterosexual WASP male. As a result, I grew to have empathy with people who were not Just. Like. Me. And, yes, my eyes opened to a lot of things I hadn't noticed before.

5. I believe scare tactics -- every Muslim is carrying an IED; every grandma is going to the death panel -- are childish and beneath us.

6. I am pro-choice, but not always comfortable with that. I think money spent on abortions would be better spent on preventing abortions. Pretending no sex is happening doesn't stop people from having sex; it only causes more problems. So that's where some money should go, right?

7. I believe that gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders deserve every legal right given to every other citizen of the United States of America.

Uh... and I haven't even touched foreign policy. Whatever; we'll do that next year. Anyway, your votes should go to:

Jon Corzine, for Governor of New Jersey. Two reasons: Republican Chris Christie is a hypocritical, reprehensible, anti-gay right-winger. Also, he's fat. Okay, scratch, #2: I'm fat, so I don't care about that. I only care that Jon Corzine is doing his best in a tough economy, and he's an inclusive governor. The GLBT community is not part of a Chris Christie "vision." Beyond that, his economic vision isn't in line with current realities.

Bill Owens for Congress, NY 23 CD -- He would probably deserve to be elected anyway. But the Classy Opposition in the wake of Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafaza's withdrawal makes this easy.

Dan Garodnick and Jessica Lappin for New York City Council: both hard-working, both honest, both an asset to a body that needs more hard work and honesty.

Denise Murphy McGraw for Niskayuna Town Board: I knew her when. She was good then, and she gets better and better. Niskayuna, are you listening?

Mike Bloomberg or Bill Thompson for Mayor of New York: Yes, I know... the ultimate wimp out. But these are two skilled managers, and the fact that New York City has these opponents -- instead of two talentless hacks -- as contendors to be its next mayor is a sign of progress. Vote your conscience.

Maine and Washington: Vote pro-Gay and pro-equality. Protect yourself and your fellow citizens.

Remember to do the right thing tomorrow and vote. Correctly.

Otherwise, I'm coming over for a little talk...