SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It was a memorial fit for a legend. On Tuesday night, hundreds gathered both inside and outside of San Francisco's Castro Theater to honor the life of iconic drag performer, Heklina.
"Heklina was what San Francisco truly is. She embodied the weirdness, the differentness, the things we all need to include and love and that are so special," said attendee Clayton Bishop.
Heklina, whose real name was Stephan Grygelko, died in early April. Her death a shock to many in the local LGBTQ community.
"She was not your typical drag queen at all. If you look at pictures of Heklina, she was unique," said Derek Sereckelmeyer.
VIDEO: Friends, fans mourn loss of legendary Bay Area drag performer Heklina
An internationally recognized figure, Heklina helped to revolutionize drag throughout her career.
"She was such a huge influence in any space that she walked into. She was Heklina. And you knew her the second she walked in the door," said Chris Hollar.
For many people at the memorial, it's about more than just remembering Heklina. It's also a way for them to push back against anti-LGBTQ laws popping up across the country.
Some of those laws have specifically targeted drag shows.
While California hasn't been impacted by any, people in attendance at the memorial say Heklina would want them to take a stand.
"It's important for our community to come together in large numbers to show the world, who we really are. To express our joy, to express our solidarity. And to let them know that we're not going down without a fight," said one of the memorial's organizers, Sister Roma.
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