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.

Open Letter to Bishop Morlino

Bishop Morlino, This is in response to your recent letter (August 18, 2018) to priests and parishioners of the Diocese of Madison. I am writing this as a gay man, a fallen-away Catholic, an adult survivor of childhood sex abuse … Continue reading

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Alex Jones’ unCivil War

While I have been enjoying the hundreds of memes belittling Alex Jones for positing that the Democrats would start a second Civil War on Independence Day, there is an underlying creepiness about him that makes everything he says and does … Continue reading

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Paths to Healing Keynote Speech

At this year’s Paths to Healing conference on male survivors of child sex assault I was the keynote speaker. This is the text of the speech I delivered today. Good morning. I’d like to start by thanking Chris Taylor, who … Continue reading

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On Suicide

  Trigger warning for suicide/suicidal ideation. When I was living in my dorm in college one of the men at the other end of the long hall on our floor killed himself. In retrospect it was not a sudden thing. … Continue reading

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Musical Notes

  Singing brings joy to the human heart. Perhaps there are those few who hear the joy of song and react negatively because they have hardened themselves to their own happiness. And perhaps there are those few whose souls withhold … Continue reading

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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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