Heklina, iconic drag queen and well-known member of the San Francisco scene, was found dead by her best friend in London on April 3. She was 55 years old.
Peaches Christ made the devastating announcement on social media. The two had been friends and collaborators for years and were in England working on a show together at the time.
“I am shocked and horrified to bring this news to you. I am living in a real-life nightmare so forgive me if I don’t have all the answers just now,” Peaches wrote. “This morning, in London, England, I went to collect my dear friend Heklina, who is costarring with me in a Mommie Queerest show here, and found her dead. I do not know the cause of death yet. I know this is shocking news and I am beyond stunned, but I wanted to let folks know what has happened. Heklina is not just my best friend, but a beloved icon of our community. I am a mess. Given this crisis, please do not try to contact me as I am utterly heartbroken, stunned, and focusing on what needs to get done next. I shall be in touch.”
— Peaches Christ (@PeachesChrist) April 3, 2023
Heklina was born in Minneapolis, and lived in Iceland for a period of three years during the ’80s. It was on the Nordic island where she got inspiration for her drag name from Icelandic volcano Hekla. Heklika began her drag career in drag in 1995, when she worked as a bartender in San Francisco for a punk drag show. She went on to cofound Trannyshack, San Francisco’s longest running drag show, at the Stud bar in 1996. Trannyshack was later rebranded as Mother after Heklina became one of the owners of Oasis nightclub in 2014.
Heklina worked closely with Peaches on multiple projects throughout her drag career which included several horror spoofs, an annual production of Golden Girls, and their recent show Mommie Queerest.
Drag legends everywhere took to social media to express their heartbreak over Heklina’s unexpected passing.
“Heklina was punk rock and made drag what it is today,” said Trixie Mattel.
Icon! Heklina was punk rock and made drag what it is today. Legend. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/a2NY7lvdz1
— Trixie Mattel™ (@trixiemattel) April 3, 2023
Yvie Oddly tweeted, I’m heartbroken to hear about @Heklina’s passing. She wasn’t just a staple in the drag community, she was a whole-ass stapler. RIP queen.”
I’m heartbroken to hear about @Heklina’s passing. She wasn’t just a staple in the drag community, she was a whole-ass stapler. RIP queen pic.twitter.com/nkmQ6HIl2V
— Yvie Oddly (@OddlyYvie) April 4, 2023
What Do You Think?