I’m late to express my feelings on the loss of Hollie Stevens, but words could not and still don’t encompass what’s inside my heart.
I’ve tried several times since July 3rd, 2012 to write about the passing of my friend Hollie. However each time I’d get stuck because already that sounds wrong- Hollie was more than a friend, she’d become my sister in spirit. Over the last year and a half of her battle against cancer, a small family of choice grew from her struggle as we each gave all we could to help support her through her painful and heart breaking journey.
Ultimately, I believe each of us has gained far more from her presence in our lives, and the presence of her amazing collection of friends that embraced each other, than we could have ever given back to her, even if her time here hadn’t been cut so incredibly, unfairly, short.
The following is from her obituary:
‘ Hollie Stevens, best known as “The Queen of Clown Porn” died on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 in San Francisco. She fell asleep peacefully while holding the hand of her husband, comedian and artist, Eric Cash.
Debuting in 2000 as feature dancer, “Holly Wood,” she traveled across the U.S. performing to packed houses. She was nominated for an AVN in 2004 for Best Group Sex Scene, (The Bachleor) and won the AVN award in 2004 for Best All-Girl Scene (The Violation of Jessica Darlin). Hollie performed in over 170 titles as well as being featured on kink.com, DungeonCorp.com, hogtied.com, chantasbitches.com, The Howard Stern Show, performing at the Lusty Lady, and more.
An accomplished painter with works hanging in the Hyena Gallery in Burbank, Hollie was also a long-time writer and model for Girls and Corpses magazine, a DJ, live visual manipulator, performance artist, kickboxing champion, and an extraordinary wife and friend. In a recent conversation, she shared that the things she would want to be remembered for is that she loved being a wife and friend more than anything.
Hollie was diagnosed in March, 2011 with Stage 3, Metastatic Breast Cancer. Within a year, it had spread to her bone, rib, liver, and brain. After an outpouring of support from a fundraising effort facilitated by her family of friends which raised $16,000 she said, “I cannot believe how many people care, how good my fans are, and how much complete strangers have helped me. This is unreal. Not everyone hates clowns after all!”
Hollie was in many ways very similar to my own real sister, which is part of why I instinctively felt protective of her when she told me she had found a mass during a visit to LA when she was staying with me as a houseguest. While we had known each other for several years casually, we both had worked at different strip clubs in San Francisco when I first had met her around 2004, and we shared a large collection of mutual friends, it was only just prior to the night she told me about her concerns about potential breast cancer that our friendship had finally started to blossom to more than just casual drinking buddies.
The last 15 months of friendship with Hollie were one of the greatest gifts I could have been given. I’m complicated, my personal life is complicated and often messy, and yet Hollie never judged me, and always just accepted me as I am. This past year was really difficult for me for various reasons, but it made me appreciate the friends I have who don’t judge, and actually embrace who I am, complete with my flaws. Hollie not only embraced me, she loved me at times when I needed it most. Also, she knew about my personal medical fetish, and would smuggle small medical supplies and even a hospital smock out of the hospital from time to time as a gift to me. :-) I know it’s wrong, but if SF General really wants the smock back, I won’t give it to them, as it’s a bittersweet reminder of some really great moments between us.
It’s funny, I had never actually seen a Hollie Stevens adult video until a few nights ago. She was a great performer, but that just isn’t how I related to her, or will relate to her memory. To me, she will always be Hollie, the fiercely brave and often stubborn girl who not only lacked the sense of entitlement that many in our industry take on, but who was truly a beautiful mix of self confidence, and humility.
What I will miss most about Hollie is her laughter and her often slightly (ok often more than slightly) twisted sense of humor. Hollie had the ability to just say things that would either be horribly offensive or terribly unsettling if someone else were to say the exact same words. Her wry delivery followed with a quick smirk or huge grin let her get away with her often eccentric views and opinions. And it was those quirks (like knowing way too much about Furries) and peculiar affinities (like her love of the show Toddlers and Tiaras) that made her that much more loveable.
Eric coming into her life in the way that he did at the time that he did was something that made my icy heart believe in love stories again. Watching their love story unfold this year softened a part of me. I’m not the only one. Hollie and Eric made lots of people believe in love stories again. And almost right after they were married, Eric did one of the hardest imaginable tasks by doing right by his new wife until her last breath. Taking her home from the hospital so that she could die at home as she said she wanted to was an impossible undertaking, and yet he gave her the kind of ending that she wanted, with dignity and privacy.
I know that Hollie knew she was loved, but I don’t think she or anyone realized exactly how many lives she had touched until she was gone. The outpouring of emotion, love and grief from the many, many people who knew or knew of her and loved her has truly been a testament to the person she was. For me, I’ve enjoyed the pictures, videos and stories that people have been posting to her Facebook page, and the friends who have reached out privately to connect and share their feelings about her and her untimely death, as I feel like if I’m still learning new things about her. It’s as if she’s still alive and hasn’t left. I can almost hear her laughter at times. That is a feeling that I am reluctant to let go of, because the absence that exists in place of Hollie is too big. So I plan on keeping Hollie close to my heart, and her memory vividly alive, so that she’s never truly gone.
I miss and love you friend, and sister of choice. Thank you for the gift of your friendship. I will never forget you.
With Loving Memories, January