Author Archives: Callen Harty

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 Amazon.com (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.

The Agony of Aging

    While I don’t really feel all that old, I am keenly aware that I am aging. I could still live for several more decades, but maybe not. I’m in my 60s now and have had several heart issues. … Continue reading

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Decade

As 2019 comes to an end, it seems like a good time to look back at the last decade. While mathematically, the new decade doesn’t start until next January, it is the start of the 2020s and many, if not … Continue reading

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Heart Thoughts

As 2019 comes to a close I am recovering again from an incident with my heart. Eleven years ago I had a major heart attack, with 100% blockage of the left coronary. They put four stents in at that time, … Continue reading

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Pardon

Donald Trump is, quite simply, not a good person. His behavior both as a citizen and as the President, has been childish, narcissistic, and bullying. He has surrounded himself with sycophants and apologists, criminals, and a group of people who … Continue reading

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Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and the Dismantling of Queer Rights

During the 2016 Presidential campaign a photograph of Donald Trump holding a rainbow flag went viral. Some of those in the queer community, particularly members of the Log Cabin Republicans, thought that it showed that he was supportive of LGBT … Continue reading

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The Singing Forest

Stumbling and lost I happened upon a singing forest, saw trees wet with blood, green and red, white snow red, saw twisted limbs hanging from twisted limbs, deformities of nature, and heard music, discordant music, cacophony of anguish, voices filling … Continue reading

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Mortality

Lately, even before this last weekend, mortality has been on my mind. My partner, Brian, has been talking about the fact that we’re getting older and how he worries about me because of already surviving a heart attack a decade … Continue reading

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