Trans Position

Every day, every single day, a different right-wing politician introduces yet another bill in yet another state (or federally) that will in some way take away the rights or dignity of transgender people and make life harder for a group of people whose lives are already too hard. Every day another ignorant politician tries to gain points with their holier-than-thou electorate by introducing legislation to criminalize drag in every form. And every day I weep for my trans and drag friends who must suffer the indignity of yahoos who profess to be Christians but who have no empathy and no trace of the Christ they profess to love and follow.

This has to stop. Come on, people. Trans people have been with us forever. We just didn’t have the means for thousands of years to treat them in the ways that we do now to help them become fully who they are in God’s image. Now we do, and we have for decades, and suddenly there is a backlash because our society could deal with a handful of people they considered freaks, but can’t deal with the possibility that their owns sons might be their daughters or their own daughters might be their sons. It’s more important to force people to live their lives as a lie than to be their authentic selves because it makes too many people uncomfortable.

Every day, every single day, trans people, especially black trans women, are already in danger of getting maimed or killed because they have the courage to step into themselves and be themselves with pride. These inane, hurtful bills, make that possibility even graver. Trans people and drag queens are not out to seduce children. Anyone with a brain who is awake in the least knows that the vast majority of child sex abusers are straight white males. While the right-wingers would have you believe that transgender people are taking over the world like battalions of aliens attacking from another planet, the reality is that there are not that many trans people in our midst and certainly not enough to fight these battles on their own.

Those of us who are allies must do what we can, as loudly and boldly as we can, to stop the hateful rhetoric and dangerous legislation that is aiming to eradicate those trans souls among us. Call or write your legislators, join a march, publicly declare your allyship, speak up against hateful and damaging speech when you hear it, reach out to the trans community and ask what you can do to help, be a friend. But for God’s sake, don’t let these assaults continue without doing something–anything–to help stem the tide. Every trans person I have met in my life has been a gentle, beautiful person who is just trying, like all of us, to live, to love and be loved, and to be as happy as possible. In a world such as this, it is all any of us want and it is our duty to help protect the minorities in our midst from the tyranny of those who attack them.

Wishing peace and love to all.


About Callen Harty

Originally from Shullsburg, Wisconsin Callen Harty is the author of four books and numerous published essays, poems, and articles. His most recent book is The Stronger Pull, a memoir about coming out in a small town in Wisconsin. His first book was My Queer Life, a compilation of over 30 years worth of writing on living life as a queer man. It includes essays, poems, speeches, monologues, and more. Empty Playground: A Survivor's Story, is a memoir about surviving childhood sex abuse. His play, Invisible Boy, is a narrative with poetic elements and is also an autobiographical look as surviving child sex abuse. All are available on (and three of them on Kindle) or can be ordered through local bookstores, 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 started as an actor, writer, and director in 1983. He served as the Artistic Director of the theater from 2005-2010. Monologues 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 also won a Community Shares of Wisconsin Backyard Hero award for his sex abuse survivor activism work. 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. In 2016, Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault named him their annual Courage Award winner for his activism, writing, and speaking on sexual assault.
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