Vicki Marlane

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Near the end of her life at the age of 74, San Franciscan Vicki Marlane was known as “possibly the oldest living, continuously performing, transgender entertainer in the country.” She began her career dancing in Minnesota before cycling through assorted gigs and ending her journey in the Bay Area. Her act at the bar Aunt Charlie’s earned her the nickname “the girl with the liquid spine.” Although she considered herself a transgender woman since at least the 1980s, she continued performing drag until the year of her death.

Marlane’s interview with the New York Times and a documentary about her life brought her national attention. In 2014, a block in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood was renamed after her following a petition by the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club; she is the first transgender person in the city to be given such an honor.

Marlane’s old Facebook group contains photographs and footage of her act.

 

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