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.

The Gift

April 18, 1989. A gay bar in Denver, the Triangle. A can of beer in hand, cigarette in the other. I was there alone, so I wasn’t there to be with friends, I wasn’t there looking for someone for the … Continue reading

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Picture Perfect

Over the course of several days I recently had the following e-mail exchange with a woman representing a fairly new company here in Wisconsin in reference to the photo above. I’ve removed some of the identifying details. Her: “We’d love … Continue reading

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The Missing Narrative on the Pennsylvania Special Election

  While watching the televised returns of the Pennsylvania special election pitting Democrat Conor Lamb, Republican Rick Saccone, and Libertarian Drew Miller against each other all the pundits from both sides before, during, and after it made the election about … Continue reading

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Open Letter to Paul Ryan on Guns

Dear Speaker Ryan, Yet another young man with yet another AR-15 semi-automatic rifle has killed yet more people in a place that should be safe. And you, yet again, have said that it is not the time to talk about … Continue reading

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Will they know

When they dig up these bones what will they find on the skeleton of my life? Will they be able to read the hieroglyphics on my skull and the petroglyphs of my soul etched in the decaying calcium before them? … Continue reading

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On Trump and Racism

  Donald Trump is a racist. That is it. Period. Donald Trump is a racist. There should be no further discussion. It is a fact. But in this day and age there apparently are no “facts”, only “fake news”, lies, … Continue reading

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Letter to Ron Johnson on the Tax Bill

Dear Senator Johnson, While the Republican party has long promised some kind of tax reform, the bill that is currently before the House and Senate changes tax law, but does nothing to improve the circumstances of the vast majority of … Continue reading

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