SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A planned memorial next month for celebrated San Francisco drag queen Heklina will now be held outdoors to accommodate public interest in the event. Heklina, the public drag persona of actor Stefan Grygelko, died earlier this month in London.
A memorial for the performer, “Heklina A Memorial (She Would Have Hated This),” was originally going to be held at the Castro Theater. However, after tickets for the event sold out almost immediately, organizers arranged to move it outside, according to a Facebook post from Heklina’s friend, fellow drag performer Peaches Christ, the drag persona of actor/filmmaker Joshua Grannell.
Castro Street will be shut down for the May 23 event which will be projected onto the streets for a “large outdoor gathering,” Christ wrote in the post. “We will also be live-streaming the even on SF Oasis TV so that anyone anywhere can join us.”
The event is the result of a collaboration between Another Planet Entertainment, the Castro Theater, the SFMTA and Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, Christ wrote. The Heklina memorial organizers are also asking for friends and fans to donate to help cover expenses.
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“As you can imagine, this has added considerable expense including the cost of permitting, police officers, etc. and we are hoping friend and fans can help out and chip in so that we can cover expenses,” Christ wrote. “Anything helps!”
A GoFundMe has been established for those wishing to contribute to the memorial.
Heklina was in London along with Peaches Christ to co-star in a production of “Mommie Queerest,” a parody of “Mommie Dearest,” when she was found dead in her hotel room. Christ, who found her, initially announced the news on Facebook. Heklina’s death was characterized as “unexpected” and was investigated by the London Metropolitan Police.