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.

Random Thoughts on the First Clinton/Trump Debate

Bernie Sanders was my first choice for President this year, so I  voted for him in the primary, but he lost. It was incredibly disheartening but the reality is that he is no longer running for President. We are well … Continue reading

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When Nightmares Intrude

  Trigger Warning: This post is about surviving sex abuse. Please take care of yourself first and foremost. So last night I had a dream–a nightmare really, or a series of nightmares–in which I was assaulted again as I was … Continue reading

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On the Milwaukee Riot

Anyone who has known me for a long time knows that I have been a pacifist since I was a child. I have stopped fights, marched for peace, and have done what little I can to make this a more … Continue reading

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Ralph-en-Stein

  There is a myth that comes around every four years that needs to be put to rest after more than a decade. It usually references Green Party candidate Ralph Nader as the cause of Al Gore’s loss to George … Continue reading

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The Lowlights of the Mike Pence Speech

  Donald Trump scares me, but I’m even more frightened of the prospect of him becoming President and then not finishing out his term, as that would mean that his Vice-Presidential pick, Mike Pence, would move up to the highest … Continue reading

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Breaking the Cycle

Sometimes violence in a family is generational. A father beats a son who beats his son who beats the next son because that is the world in which each of the sons grew up and that is how they learned to deal … Continue reading

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On the Pulse Nightclub Massacre

Within a couple minutes of waking up on Sunday morning several posts on Facebook had alerted me to yet another mass shooting in the United States. A moment later I saw that it had taken place at a gay nightclub … Continue reading

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