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.

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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Heroes

  On Friday I was invited to speak at a performance of Are We Delicious?/Musical Heroes. The company had invited audience members to nominate “local heroes” and then invited four to speak between pieces at the event. This is what … Continue reading

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Chance Given

  On election night I was devastated by the Presidential results. Though I voted for her I wasn’t as devastated by Hillary Clinton’s loss as I was by Donald Trump’s win. It made no sense to me. Every election people … Continue reading

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Mo(u)rning in America

    In the morning the children wake and wonder and worry. “Will they come to take me away today? Tomorrow?” When will I be deported?   And the queer boys and girls and trans and more wonder, too. “When … Continue reading

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On Election Eve

  Because I am an optimist and truly want to believe in the best of everyone I keep thinking that we are all Americans regardless of political affiliation, religious beliefs, or anything else, and that after the 2016 election is … Continue reading

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A Day in the Life of My America

Most days, even on the weekends when I don’t have to, I tend to wake up by 6:30 or 7:00. Today I was able to sleep in until about 7:30 or so, and then I was able to lounge in … Continue reading

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The Arresting Case of Amy Goodman

  Journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now was arrested last month for reporting on the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Today the charges against her were dismissed, but that is no reason for journalists and others who treasure the right to … Continue reading

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