Heklina, a drag queen and entertainer, performs at DNA Lounge in San Francisco, USA, on February 18, 2012.

Heklina is the stage name of Stefan Grygelko, an American actor, drag queen, and entrepreneur in San Francisco. Grygelko's mother is Icelandic, and having been born in the U.S., he lived in Iceland in the 1980s[1]; he named his drag character after the Icelandic volcano Hekla.[2] Heklina founded the drag club Mother (formerly Trannyshack) in 1996.[3]

I think that drag queens are still the eunuch clown that's safe to laugh at. It's definitively not shocking anymore. So I don't know if America's really embraced it. The early 90s was when RuPaul [was becoming famous] and it was the first time any drag queen had mainstream exposure. I don't really see a drag queen breaking out like that [again].

— Heklina on Feast of Fools in 2006[4]


Mother (formerly Trannyshack)Edit

It has several meanings; the new "Mothership" of drag in SF, something warm and comforting, nurturing even. And it also ties into the "drag mother" thing. This will be a place for all drag mothers to bring their children, to hone their craft.

— Heklina in SFist article [3]

Heklina co-founded Trannyshack, and has hosted the show from its inception in 1996 at the Stud bar and continues to host the special events throughout San Francisco and in other – mainly California – cities.[5] Trannyshack is the longest running drag event series in San Francisco. On January 17, 2015 at The Oasis, Trannyshack was rebranded as Mother, evolving from a monthly to a weekly event series.

She also co-produces and co-hosts the Miss Trannyshack Pageant widely considered the premiere annual drag event in San Francisco that has sold out every year since inception.[6][7][8]

Theater and community actitivitesEdit

Heklina also acts in local theater productions, most notably the S.F. Golden Girls productions (as Dorothy Zbornak) and emcees a variety of community and charitable events including the Folsom Street Fair (along with Sister Roma) and San Francisco Pride.[9] She was voted Community Grand Marshal of the 2004 San Francisco GLBTQ Pride Parade,[10] and won the 2009 Pride Creativity Award for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to the LGBT Community. She was sainted by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.[11] Heklina co-stars in a series of short films, the "Tran-ilogy of Terror", drag queen horror spoofs written and directed by long-time collaborator Peaches Christ.,[12] and also starred in the film "Baby Jane?".

The OasisEdit

The Oasis, a theater and cabaret nightclub located in San Francisco's SOMA district,[13] hosted a grand opening event on New Year's Eve day 2014. Heklina and three business partners, D'Arcy Drollinger, Geoff Benjamin, and Jason Beebout, signed a deal to purchase the former Oasis nightclub in October 2014. The nightclub's diverse programming features drag stars, cabaret and performing artists, live musical acts, and DJs.




  1. ^ "Coco Thoughts While In Solitude #50 with Heklina". YouTube. 22 May 2020. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  2. ^ Swan, Rachel, "Kiss That Stud Goodbye", East Bay Express, August 13, 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
  3. ^ a b Barmann, Jay (16 December 2014). "Heklina Talks About Mother, The New Incarnation Of Trannyshack At The Oasis". SFist. Archived from the original on 12 March 2015.
  4. ^ "FOF #419 – Tricks, Treats and Trannies – 10.31.06", Feast of Fools, October 31, 2006. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
  5. ^ Del Mar, Pollo, "Reigning Miss Trannyshack Reflects on Legendary Club", San Francisco Bay Times, August 14, 2008. Retrieved 4 October 2009.
  6. ^ Buck, Jenn, "Queens vie for the Trannyshack crown: Miss Trannyshack Pageant 2005 is set for this Saturday night", Bay Area Reporter, 17 November 2005. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
  7. ^ "The MISS TRANNYSHACK PAGEANT 2006" announcement, 2006. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
  8. ^ Eccentric California: The Bradt Travel Guide (2005) ; Jan Friedman, ISBN 1-84162-126-9, ISBN 978-1-84162-126-5.
  9. ^ Vaziri, Aidin, "On the Town with Heklina: All the city's a stage for this drag queen", SFGate (part of San Francisco Chronicle), October 22, 2006. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
  10. ^ San Francisco Pride 2003 Event List Archived 2009-02-17 at the Wayback Machine, from the SFPride website. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
  11. ^ Sister Dana Van Iquity, "Saints Alive! Heklina and Peaches Christ Join Mother Teresa" (interview), San Francisco Bay Times, July 26, 2007. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
  12. ^ Sister Dana Van Iquity, "Peaches Christ Puts Out Fierce DVD" Archived 2006-11-08 at the Wayback Machine, San Francisco Bay Times, July 13, 2006. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
  13. ^ "SF Oasis : The Club". SF Oasis. Archived from the original on 2015-03-15. Retrieved 2015-03-08.

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