In the late 80’s the New York Club scene was the stomping ground of the Club Kids, lead by Michael Alig, a party promoter at the limelight. With over the top costumes and make up that sometimes bordered on grotesque and wild behavior, the club kids became a draw for New York night lifers. They were paid and given drugs just to show up in “drag” and give people something to gawk at, especially at the Limelight and the pyramid club. This of course, had the effect of turning these club kids into national pseudo-celebrities appearing on national talk shows Donahue and Geraldo Rivera among others.
In the years to follow, the club kids have moved on. Some with a degree of success but others have not fared so well like Michael Alig who pled guilty to a charge of manslaughter for his involvement in the murder of fellow club kid Andre “Angel” Menendez in October 1997. Alig received a 20 year sentence of which he served just shy of 17 years before being paroled in may of 2014.
What has been completely overshadowed by Aligs’ manslaughter was the tragic and mysterious death of the twisted drag queen Christina, who often wore a straight blond wig, red lipstick and a heavy German accent. She was portrayed in the 2002 movie “Party Monster” by singer Marilyn Manson. “Christina was just a complete bizarre creation of her own and of Michael’s” Manson said of Christina during an on set interview.
Micheal Musto published an article on papermag.com in march of 2015 where he listed Christina as one of “The 12 Most Nightmarish Nightlife People In NYC History”. This is what Musto wrote “I was sort of captivated by this strung-out German transsexual but she never made any sense and the fact that she seemed more doomed than the Lambada really depressed me. And then there was that night at the Tunnel when she swung her birthday cake knife around at the crowd. Oh, doll.”
Fellow club kid James St. had a less flattering description of her in his 2003 book “Disco Bloodbath” James wrote Christina was “an abomination of nature, like those frogs born with eyes in their throats” also saying that she “has testicles falling well below her hemline” as well as “pointy stretched out boobies from past hormone dabbling” as reported by the observer “Club kids on the skids” by Simon Doonan.
In episode #18 of Pee-ew from the YouTube channel of the same name, Michael Alig described St. James’ allegation that Christina kept children in her room as a hallucination “I went to her apartment a lot. I never saw any children there” When Alig was asked whether Christina’s accent was real, Alig replied “No. She was German but she was actually from Pittsburgh.” he continued “She was an English teacher and she just all the sudden decided to become a woman, so it was a big scandal where she was from.” Michael went on to say that Christina’s wealthy parents “simply paid her to leave.” They paid for Christina’s’ rent and all of her bills “as long as she would simply stay away.”
Christina’s friend Nelson Sullivan a filmmaker who made her one of his favorite subjects, seemed to be one of Christina’s only real friends.Sullivan said of Christina on June 1st 1989 “Did you hear about Christina? She’s dead. They found Christina in the hotel room at the Chelsea (Hotel) the other day. It’s horrible she’s my good friend and now she’s gone. I’m upset.” Based on Nelsons statement we can conclude that Superstar died around the end of may 1989, possibly the 29th or 30th. Nelson himself died of a heart attack a month later on July 4 1989.
Dangerousminds.net uploaded an article on march 15th 2013,titled “Nelson Sullivan: Pioneering Chronicler of NYC Nightlife in the 1980’s”, claiming that Sullivan had discovered Christina at the Chelsea Hotel after her suicide. Nelson’s Sullivan’s own comments would seem to dispute the claim that he discovered her. his full comments can be viewed on YouTube channel 5thavenueprogect which can be found in the video “The Club Kids’ Field Trip to Washington DC 1989”. As for whether or not she committed suicide, there is sadly very little information about her at all.
Maybe it is the unknown that makes people ponder her final hours, what happened to her? suicide? murder? overdose? there just don’t seem to be any solid answers. Perhaps the only answers we will ever have about her is whatever information the remaining club kids may choose to divulge in interviews and on social media. One thing is for sure, Nelson Sullivan is to thank for the majority of information we have about her. Thanks to his documentation of her we have a slight glimpse into the fascinating and tragic life of his good friend Christina.