Tributes have been pouring in after Heklina, one of San Francisco’s most beloved drag queens, died in London at the age of 54.
The star was in the UK with fellow drag artist Peaches Christ as the two were set to perform in Mommie Queerest, a parody of the 1981 film Mommy Dearest, at the Soho Theatre in London and HOME in Manchester.
News of Heklina’s passing was announced by her co-star on 3 April. “I am living in a real-life nightmare so forgive me if I don’t have all the answers just now,” Peaches wrote on social media. “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.” Peaches also explained that she did 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,” she continued. “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.” There has since been an outpouring of support for both Peaches and Heklina as performers from all over the world paid their respects to the influential queen.