When I first learned about drag, it wasn’t on Ru Paul Drag Race or watching Wigstock on DVD. It was down in the Tenderloin at the legendary Aunt Charlie’s bar. Every Friday the Hot Boxx Girls would wow me not only with their glitz and glitter, but also with their grit and determination. Their leader was Vicki Marlane, the lady with the liquid spine. In her 70’s, she wowed audiences weekly with her renditions of Celine Dion songs, performed with a love, pain and exuberance that brought the house to tears.
Miss Vicki Marlane passed this morning around 7am in the Hospital in San Francisco. She performed in San Francisco for over 50 years, starting her work in the sideshow in the circus. She was brilliant as she was beautiful to watch, and her performance struck audiences as so profoundly honest and sincere, that she cut straight to the heart.
I hope that we all can take a few moments to remember not only the vast and encouraging legacy of Miss Vicki, but also of all the amazing, beautiful and talented transgender performers and friends that our community has and have lost. They bring us joy through their adversity like Vicki did, and for that we owe them more than a debt of gratitude. We owe them the same access to the rights and freedoms that we all fight to enjoy in the LGBT community.
Her spirit lifted me, and for that I will forever know that she’s my lady, and I am her man. See more about Miss Vicki in her documentary here.