Michael Marcil, the Ottawa drag performer known as Dixie Landers, continues to recover from injuries sustained during a brawl at the Centretown Pub on May 26, 2007. The altercation left Marcil with several broken bones, a fractured skull and brain injuries.
Marcil has sought refuge at his mother’s house in Petawawa.
Marcil made a brief return to performing last summer but his friend and confidant Vicki Lawsuit says his health has taken a turn for the worse. Meanwhile, he has become a cause célèbre in Ottawa’s gay community.
“She has a hard time keeping food down,” says Lawsuit. “She is constantly taking pain medication because she has problems with the nerve endings in her back.”
Doctors treating Marcil are very concerned because they are not sure how to handle Marcil’s fragile brain, says Lawsuit. They’re trying various meds to see which ones will have the best effect.
“She is not in the best of spirits at times, but then that’s to be expected,” says Lawsuit. “She is depressed and needs encouragement for her health to get better.”
Marcil spoke with Capital Xtra Mar 26.
“Yes, I miss performing,” says Marcil. “But the only thing I can worry about right now is getting better. I love my fans and miss them, please tell them that.”
Marcil confirmed that he’s still “sick as hell.”
The shift from being front and centre in the local limelight to quietly recovering in the shadows has been a difficult transition for Marcil.
“She is way too weak to even get out of bed at times,” says Lawsuit. “I don’t see her coming back to perform anytime soon.”
Dixie, a regular performer in Ottawa’s drag scene, frequently performed for charities and fundraisers and touched countless people in our community. Her enthusiasm for performing and gregarious disposition makes her current situation even harder to bear for some — especially for those who are close to her.
“I really hope that Dixie makes better progress, because it would be a great loss if anything happened to her and truly I wouldn’t know how to handle it,” says Lawsuit.
“There are days when I’m not sure if she is going to make it through the year, and it gets me really upset and sad and brings me at times to tears.”