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 Problem with Monuments

Today is the traditional Columbus Day holiday, which in many places is now being celebrated as Indigenous People’s Day or Native American Day, among other names. For years, Christopher Columbus was celebrated as the person who “discovered” America. The reality … Continue reading

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The Subtle Danger of QAnon

QAnon is a dangerous conspiracy theory about the so-called deep state, or really, an entire host of conspiracy theories all mangled into one incomprehensible mishmash of aliens, worldwide pedophile rings controlled by the rich and powerful, the Queen of England … Continue reading

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When It Started

It didn’t start with George Floyd struggling to breathe under the knee of a man in blue. It didn’t start with Breonna Taylor waking up from dreams and walking into a nightmare. It didn’t start with Atatiana Jefferson, Botham Jean, … Continue reading

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As Darkness Descends

Yesterday morning a friend of mine posted a warning on Facebook. There was an event page hosted by a militia group called Kenosha Guard. The event was “Armed Citizens to Protect our Lives and Property.” The event page asked if … Continue reading

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The Pardoning of Susan B. Anthony

Today Donald Trump, the hero of nasty women everywhere, officially pardoned Susan B. Anthony for the crime of illegally voting in 1872. Excuse me for laughing. If any other President, on the 100th anniversary of woman’s suffrage in the United … Continue reading

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Anisa

I see her praying at her bedside, on her knees asking God to stop the bullets. Seven years old. She should be playing outside, skinning her knees, crying for scratches and not for brothers and sisters who died when cars … Continue reading

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Sacrificial Lambs

“We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.” That was Donald Trump’s initial response to the coronavirus all the way back in January. Since then, it has been one … Continue reading

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The Gentrification of Protest

Madison, Wisconsin has had six consecutive days and nights of protests since George Floyd’s murder became the latest episode of a black man killed by police. The last several nights have been relatively peaceful. The first several nights saw windows … Continue reading

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George Floyd Died Today

George Floyd died today. And another piece of America went with him. I want to believe that the racist culture in which our nation and our entire history is so steeped is in decline, and perhaps white women calling police … Continue reading

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Open Letter to Justice Rebecca Bradley

Justice Bradley, No, the stay-at-home order currently in effect is not like Japanese internment camps and there is no chance that it will be. Being asked to stay at home to protect yourself and other people is not the same … Continue reading

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Virus of the Soul

Sitting at home reading about tens of thousands of people in my country dying of Covid-19 is hard enough. Knowing that countless more will die in the coming months is even more difficult. But reading about ignorant and hateful acts … Continue reading

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Wisconsin Asshats

Dear Scott Fitzgerald and Robin Vos, The nicest thing I can say about the two of you is that you are asshats. After years in the Wisconsin Legislature as waterboys for the Koch Brothers and the American Legislative Exchange Council … Continue reading

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