Author Archives: Callen Harty

About Callen Harty

Originally from Shullsburg, Wisconsin Callen Harty is the author of Empty Playground: A Survivor's Story, a memoir about surviving childhood sex abuse. 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. Both are available on Amazon.com, 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 has been an actor, writer, and director since 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.

Signs of Possible Sex Abuse

    As we near the end of Sexual Assault Awareness Month I’ve been thinking about something helpful I could write about it. One of the things I talk about when I share my survivor story to general audiences is … Continue reading

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I know

I know what happened to you even though you cannot say it, because I hear it in the words you do not say, and I see it in your eyes, in the way your body hides its secrets. I see … Continue reading

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Full Circle

Trigger Warning: This post is about child sex abuse and also suicide. Please take care of yourself first and foremost. Since coming out publicly as a survivor of child sex abuse about seven years ago I have written articles, blog … Continue reading

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The Failure of Donald Trump

Some of my friends and relatives voted for Donald Trump. Some of my co-workers watched the inauguration on television at work while I sat at my desk and fought back tears at what my country had become. They did what … Continue reading

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Letter to Donald Trump on Transgender Guidelines

2/21/17 Dear President Trump, I have heard reports that the White House is considering rescinding Department of Education guidelines regarding transgender rights for school districts across the United States. I am pleading with you as an adult who works with … Continue reading

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A Queer View of the Incoming Administration

Likely most people have noticed the Orwellian nature of Donald Trump’s picks for his Cabinet and other roles in his upcoming White House, which is more appropriately named than ever with Stephen Bannon as one of his top advisors. There … Continue reading

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Christmas Reflection

Last night as I was driving home under the stars on tops of evergreen trees and past lights behind frosty windows I thought of my mother and I cried. She is old now, bedridden and infirm, somehow staying alive when … Continue reading

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