Marilyn Augustine Hendren was born in Keams Canyon, Arizona in May 1972. She attended Tecumseh High School. Marilyn described herself on Facebook as “gay Native American and HIV + for 23 yrs.” She lived in Albuquerque and then Tulsa. It is believed she was a registered member of the Navajo Nation per a document found on her Facebook profile.
Marilyn was pronounced deceased at local Tulsa hospital January 20, 2023. She was brought to the ER where she died. There has been no information on the cause of her death, but it does not appear to be violent.
According to researchers, Marilyn was adopted at birth and was alienated from them after she came out Native leaders have been informed of her unclaimed status, but made no move yet to claim her body.
Sources claim Marilyn was adopted from her the Navajo Nation into a Hispanic/white family who rejected her when she came out as gay and then transgender. Marilyn was often homeless and struggled to survive. But that’s not the story you see on Facebook and other social media feeds. Instead she shares her style and movie icons, posts about Pride events, and interacts with her friends.
A friend described Marilyn thusly
I’ve known this girl for 20 plus years. Talk about a strong and loving person, she’s been through hell and back but was always there to give a helping hand. Whether it was a single person or a community. I will always cherish the memories good and bad. Rest in Paradise my friend.
You would drive me crazy at times but also we’re such a sweet heart. Thank you for your kindness, support, hugs, your willingness to be apart of things and the many memories, have always been appreciated. Rest in Power Princess of The Duke City.
Marilyn belonged to Imperial Sovereign Court of New Mexico, a charitable non-profit. She was honored with the lifetime title of Princess of the Duke City. Today, the International Court System (ICS) has over 65 chapters in the United States, Canada and Mexico. They held a memorial service for her on Sunday Feb 12, 2023 at 2pm,
Marilyn deserves better. I hope we can find family to claim her body.
Rest in power, Marilyn. Thank you for all that you did for the community, both LGBTQ and larger community. I am so sorry for the many ways in which we let you down and disregarded your needs. It is a poor reflection on all of us that we cannot even arrange for your remains to be returned.
May your memory be a revolutionn.