Soho Theatre has paid tribute to drag star Heklina after the entertainer died while on tour in .
The South Francisco star – real name Stefan Grygelko – was on tour in the capital with her friend and longtime collaborator Peaches Christ.
Confirming the sad news of her death, Christ said in a Facebook statement: ‘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.
‘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.’
Christ clarified that a cause of death is not yet known.
‘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.’
Born in Iceland, Grygelko moved to San Francisco in the early 1990s.
The star first started working a barback and bartender at The Stud in SoMa.
Grygelko went on to help out at club nights and had weekly performances.
Grygelko eventually made it to bigger stages in bigger venues and, along with partner D’Arcy Drollinger and other partners, opened the SoMa nightclub Oasis in 2015, but sold her share of the business four years ago.
The performer has remained one of the most seasoned and funny comical queens on the San Francisco scene and continued hosting parties and performing there after relocating to Palm Springs, long before RuPaul’s Drag Race stars we know today burst onto the scene.
‘The average drag fan now only cares about RuPaul queens, to the point of being rude to other queens,’ Grygelko told toSFist in 2019.
‘They don’t seem to know that drag even existed before Drag Race.
‘All people want to see now is a death drop. And it always gets the same response.’
Just two weeks ago, the queen was in San Fransico for the opening-of-the-season Daytime Realness party at El Rio, which she posted about on Instagram.
She co-founded the event 12 years ago.
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