An homage to Heather MacAllister: act one

“I fucked the bassist of the MC5 once,” she admitted. It wasn’t an outwardly surprising confession. At 35, she was stark raving mad in the kindest way, a burgeoning LGBT activist who never quit her day job as world’s most profound debate enthusiast.

She stood there…tall, brisk, and ample. She always wore black, an inordinate amount of black clothing, embellished only by her crimson smirk.

We were always arguing pleasantly about her latest diversions and dreams. She’d begun a burlesque troupe for the buxom set and business was booming. She always had a way of cluing me in to the needs and wants of the universe: equality, some semblance of peace, and a fierce wardrobe. She gave the people what they wanted; she was a doer like that.

To be honest, it’s at this point in the story where I just want to stop reminiscing. Because, as much as she meant to me (and those adoring friends she kept round her), I can’t remember much past her death. I can’t remember much before either. Playing such a large role in my life but never present. It was our fault, respectively. A ten year age gap and a spike in airfare and that’s where it leaves you, perfect strangers in a sense.

We’d drifted; yet she was that one person I could count on to support my hair-brained notions of immortality on the writing circuit. She encouraged me to travel, love, feel pain, and then shove that pain right through a pair of fishnet stockings until they were ripped, just so.

And then there was disease; it festered there for years, not going unnoticed. She suffered, a great deal from what I’m told. My communications were largely third party. I’m the runt in the family and we tend to get pigeonholed as that one member of the structure that’ll crumble upon such weight-laden news.

Visitation was arranged and I could finally afford it. Thanks, ever in part, to our other sibling, the responsible one. The one that always has a savings account, a home, a car, and money to spare. Bailed out once more, I was Portland bound.

-Holly Jones, editor, OnTour Magazine

Photo Credit: Kina Williams

Stay tuned for acts two and three. The remainder of the month is set aside for her and these short graphs will be scattered through other articles as an escape, of sorts.


  1. amiee wrote:

    love to you and to her legacy

  2. This is a remarkable post by the way. I am going to go ahead and bookmark this article for my sis to check out later on tomorrow. Keep up the excellent work.

  3. […] there that rival those of their northbound neighbor. Interesting people. Portland also housed my eldest sibling. There, she was stationed, enjoying this earth and it’s pleasantries while ill. About as ill as […]

  4. Whilst she was living in Michigan, Heather MacAllister’s fat activism included the 1992 founding of the Venus Group, a social and support network for large women. She argued that erotic performance allowed fat women to express a sexuality “which has been underaffirmed and made negative in the popular culture.