Laurie Toby Edison

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Don’t Mourn; Organize

Debbie says:

Heather McAllister is dead, after a long struggle with ovarian cancer.

If you didn’t know Heather or her work, I’m sorry. She was a leader in the fight for fat women to be seen as full-blown sexy, with all the trimmings. She and her Fat-Bottom Review burlesque troupe posed for Leonard Nimoy’s Full Body Project. And here’s another image.

big cover

She knew exactly what work she was doing, and why. Here’s a KQED profile of her. And here’s my favorite quotation:

“Any time there is a fat person onstage as anything besides the butt of a joke, it’s political. Add physical movement, then dance, then sexuality and you have a revolutionary act.”
Bay Area memorial/wake plans are being made for her birthday, Feb. 25. We’ll keep you posted.

And if you want to do something revolutionary in Heather’s memory, do something to support fat bodies, find a way to be, or to support, or to encourage fat bodies on stage, with movement, dance, and sexuality.

Thanks to Steven S. for the quotation and various other obituaries for pointers and links.
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8 Responses to “Don’t Mourn; Organize”

  1. Hope Dundas Says:

    Thank you for the lovely remembrance of Heather. I’m one of her friends from the Detroit area (Ann Arbor), and I’ve learned a lot from her about loving my body, though I’m still working on it.

  2. Joanne D Says:

    Heather was one of the most beautiful women I have ever known. She was intelligent,caring and inspiring. She always had the best outfits of peices from Value Village.

    I bought a lovely pot of heather today and will plant it in the spring. I plan to collect different varietys for my “Heather Garden”.

    I ate a big slice of Lemon Cake for my girl.

  3. Stef Says:

    Thank you.

  4. Rachael Says:

    I just heard about this. I am so terribly sorry. Stripping with Heather (Miss Demeanor) to “Baby Got Back” (and the cheers of a HUGE audience) at Burning Man 1999 will remain one of my dearest memories.

    You had soul and sass, Miss D. I’ll never, ever forget you.

  5. Lingual X Says:

    I only knew of Heather and her important work through friends. What a terrible loss. Just wanted to let you know that a NYC memorial is being planned too. I’ll send along details when I get them (unless you get them first!)

  6. P-Raw Says:

    Oh, Heather…
    I am still reminded and saddened by the loss of your fabulous physical body… I hope I can learn to love my fat ass and rock it out.

  7. April Turnbow Says:

    I have just found this site and I have to say..
    HOORA! I know it is to late for Heather to hear me but, it is not too late for the rest of you. I have been trying to find some sort of Support for myself as a large woman. We are not accepted as sexual creatures in today’s society and it always ticks me off. Now I know that there are others who feel the same. I am so tired of being told that my body is not good enouph, I think it is and even if I didn’t, due to medical reasons there is nothing I can do about it. I want society ro learn to accep us for what we are…
    Human!
    Brightest Blessing to you all!
    April Turnbow
    Delta, Alabama

  8. Mack Says:

    I returned to San Francisco today for a mini vacation and upon chatting with some gal pals, found out that Heather had passed. I will always remember her for being a big, beautiful femme whom I adored -regardless. Even though Heather and I werent long time pals, I will remember her passionate attitude towards everything she did. She helped to heal a part of myself that I never had an opportunity to thank her for…..so for you my dear THANK YOU!!! You will never be forgotten…and I am blessed to have my memories of you.
    Mack

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