Drag Me to Heaven

SF Mourns the Loss of the Lady with the Liquid Spine

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.



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  • Jim

    What a terrible loss to the City! Vicki was so dynamic and full of life, she was a consummate performer and an inspiration. I will miss her dearly and offer condolences to her other fans and her friends & family. See her documentary! God’s gonna get one hell of a show now!

  • jack

    Devastating, tragic news.

  • Joanna

    Vicky Marlane’s glamour and fighting spirit will not be forgotten. So many nights were spent at Aunt Charlie’s with her lithe sensuality and self-aware camp lighting a shit-eating, cheek burning grin across my face. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the Lady with The Liquid Spine. xoxo.

  • Sal

    RIP Vicki Marlane, from a Brit who was wowed by you and the girls at Aunt Charlies!

  • pickles

    Thanks Matt, for a perfect remembrance. Miss Vicki was a true legend. She made me look forward to getting older. Society can be so harsh to the mature, the transgendered but it seemed as if with each challenge, she just dropped the [Sue Wong] dress a little lower, licked her shoulder longer, flirted with more gusto and made you feel fantastic, like the world really was pretty awesome. Thanks Vicki, over and over. Missing you hard.

  • Owen

    So sad to hear. I had the pleasure of knowing Vicki in the late 90’s when I was a regular at Aunt Charlies. I lived just around the corner and it was my regular Sat. Night hang out. She was a joy to watch and an even bigger joy to know as a friend. I’ll miss her.

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