Heklina San Obituary, Death Cause – Grannell said in a statement that he found his friend earlier that morning and discovered that she had passed away when he went to pick her up. The statement read, “I am shocked and horrified to bring this news to you.” Grannell shared the statement on social media. “… I am beyond stunned by this news, and I am aware that it is shocking to others; however, I wanted to let people know what has occurred. Heklina is not only my closest friend, but she is also an admired and respected icon in our community. I am a mess.”
Heklina, a legendary drag performer from San Francisco, was discovered dead in London on Monday morning, just a few days before she was scheduled to co-star in the musical theater parody “Mommie Queerest” alongside Peaches Christ, also known as Joshua Grannell, at the Soho Theatre. Her death came as a shock to everyone involved in the production of the show.
Heklina, whose birth name was Stefan Grygelko and who was born in Minneapolis, later relocated to San Francisco after spending some time in Iceland. Her drag name, Hekla, came from the fact that the country is home to one of the world’s most active volcanoes. In 1996, when she was only 28 years old, she began hosting the long-running weekly series Mother at the Stud, which was formerly known as T-shack. She was a luminary in the San Francisco drag scene. Mother was formerly known as T-shack. The gritty DIY punk drag party, which found a home at DNA Lounge in 2008, quickly rose to become one of the most popular drag shows on the West Coast. It attracted guests such as Charo, the Go- Go’s, and the B-52s, amongst others.
In a statement released on Twitter, the Soho Theatre acknowledged the passing of Heklina. The authorities have not yet disclosed the circumstances surrounding her passing. According to the message that was posted on Twitter, “Soho Theatre, @HOME mcr and Tim Whitehead are in shock and incredibly saddened by the news of Heklina’s passing.” Peaches, Mommie Queerest company, Heklina’s family, friends, and everyone in their wider community are in our thoughts and prayers. Tomorrow, together with HOME, we will be communicating with members of the audience.
Heklina stated in an interview with the Bay Area Reporter in 2008 that she had “fallen in love with the punk style of some of the drag queens” when she moved to San Francisco. “I never once thought to myself, ‘When I grow up, I want to be a drag queen and own a nightclub.'” When it occurred and started to take off, it was almost as if I was supposed to be doing this.
After that, Heklina became an emcee at a number of well-known events in the city, such as Pride and the Folsom Street Fair. In 2015, she was a co-founder of the drag venue Oasis, which is located in the SoMa neighborhood. In 2019, she uprooted her life and moved to Palm Springs, but she continued to make frequent trips back to the city for events such as “Golden Girls Live!” performances during the winter holidays and Daytime Realness, a monthly party held at El Rio.
On Monday, other drag performers, city officials, filmmakers, activists, and many more people shared their heartfelt condolences and tributes to the late icon.
On Monday, Sister Roma wrote on Twitter that she is “absolutely devastated.” “Over the course of more than 20 years, @Heklina and I have not only been friends but also coworkers. She is one of the most hilarious people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. This is a terrifying situation.”
After learning of her passing, members of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus expressed that they were “heartbroken” and “saddened.”
It is impossible to overstate the impact that she has had on the LGBTQ community, the group said in a tweet. “From her activism to her role in keeping SF nightlife alive to her contributions to Drag as a whole, it is impossible to overstate the impact that she has had on the queer community.”