Author Archives: Callen Harty

About Callen Harty

Originally from Shullsburg, Wisconsin Callen Harty is the author of My Queer Life, a compilation of over 30 years worth of writings on living life as a queer man. It includes essays, poems, speeches, monologues, and more. It is available on Amazon.com, on Kindle, and through his own website, www.callenharty.com. He is currently working on a second book, Empty Playground: A Survivor's Story. He has written almost two dozen plays and 50 monologues that have been produced. Most of them have been produced at Broom Street Theater in Madison, Wisconsin where he has been an actor, writer, and director since 1983. He served as the Artistic Director of the theater from 2005-2010. Monologues that he wrote for the Wisconsin Veterans’ Museum won him awards from the Wisconsin Historical Society and the American Association of State and Local History. He has also had essays, poems, and articles published in newspapers and magazines around the country and has taken the top prize in several photo contests. His writing has appeared in Out!, James White Review, Scott Stamp Monthly, Wisconsin State Journal, and elsewhere. He has had several essays published online for Forward Seeking, Life After Hate, and The Progressive. Callen has also been a community activist for many years. He was the co-founder of Young People Caring, UW-Madison’s 10% Society, and Proud Theater. He served as the first President of Young People Caring and as the Artistic Director for Proud Theater for its first five years. He is still an adult mentor for the group. In 2003 he won OutReach’s Man of the Year award for his queer community activism. OutReach is Madison, Wisconsin’s lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community center. He has been invited to speak before many community groups, at a roundtable on queer community theater in New York City, and has emceed several events.

I Am White

I am white. It is the circumstance of my birth. It is who I am and who I have always been. It is what it is. But it brings certain advantages for no reason other than the fact that my … Continue reading

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This moment

This moment These messages of death come tumbling across social media as swift as wind-swept leaves. Robin Williams killed himself, Lauren Bacall is gone, a teen killed in Missouri, children in Gaza. We are all connected in our mourning. I … Continue reading

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One Weekend

One of the things I regularly do is look at news online. This morning I saw that a man had been shot and killed in a hotel parking lot in my city of Madison, Wisconsin. It doesn’t happen often here, … Continue reading

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Bobby Lee and Me

Bobby Lee McClung has been on my mind a lot lately. I have been thinking about race and racism a lot lately. Bobby Lee came to visit my home town in southwestern Wisconsin when I was a kid and an … Continue reading

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Paths to Healing Press Release (2014)

For the second consecutive year several Wisconsin organizations have partnered to put together a one-day conference on surviving childhood sex abuse that will be held this year from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel in Madison on Thursday, June … Continue reading

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Letter to Scott Walker on Same-Sex Marriage

Dear Governor Walker, In today’s paper you are quoted as saying that your position on same-sex marriage is irrelevant. “My position has been clear. I voted in the past. It doesn’t really matter.” You do realize that you are the … Continue reading

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Letter to the LaFayette County Clerk

On Friday, June 7, Judge Barbara Crabb ruled Wisconsin’s Constitutional same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. She didn’t do a very good job of guidance for what that meant, but by Thursday morning, June 12, all but nine of Wisconsin’s 72 counties … Continue reading

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Of Course

Last Friday afternoon Judge Barbara Crabb handed down a ruling that Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, opening the door for same-sex couples to start marrying in my home state of Wisconsin. Within a short time couples were gathering … Continue reading

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Love Wins

On Friday a federal judge overturned Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage and on Friday night and all day Saturday same-sex couples got married at the City/County building in Madison and at the courthouse in Milwaukee. On Sunday morning I am … Continue reading

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Wrap Around the Capitol Speech

I was asked to give a speech at Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s annual Wrap Around the Capitol event, held as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Here is the speech I delivered. Good afternoon. I stand here before you … Continue reading

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Voices of Courage Closing Remarks

I was invited to give the closing remarks at the Voices of Courage luncheon, an annual event honoring those working in the sexual assault field. The event is sponsored by the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Here is what I … Continue reading

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Silver Sobriety

25 years. Today marks 25 years since my last drink. There was a time when 25 hours without a drink was pretty much impossible for me. Now it has been 25 years. On past anniversaries I have recounted the bad … Continue reading

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