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.

Haunted House

Trigger warning: Sexual abuse, trauma, triggers Decades later, this is what trauma can look like. The other night there was a conversation happening and given that it’s getting close to Halloween the talk turned toward haunted houses. I’ve never been … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The NRA and the Culture of Guns

Nine days have passed since the mass murder of concertgoers in Las Vegas and we’re still not talking about guns, gun control, the number of gun murders in this country, what to do about the constant gun violence, or anything … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On “Our Heritage”

As more National Football League players and even college and high school players stand with arms linked or kneel in protest it is not a phrase from one of Donald Trump’s tweets that stands out most to me. It’s not … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

At the Table

The local chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) maintains an information table at the weekly Farmers Market downtown. They have literature and brochures and typically have two volunteers sit at the table to greet people, give … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Open letter to Donald Trump on the Flag and Anthem

Dear Donald Trump, You may think that taking a knee during the national anthem is disrespectful to the flag and to the anthem, and it is your right to hold onto that belief. It is also your right to spew … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shower

No matter how long I stand under a hot shower I cannot wash away the stain of you. Memories, like the tendrils of creeping (creepy) vines wrap themselves around my heart, my brain, my neck, suffocating memories suffocating me. Tears … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On Statues, Flags, and Heritage

  Statues that honor secessionists who rebelled against our country are coming down in cities around the country and it is well past time for it. The soldiers honored with these statues were men who fought to defend slavery. While … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment