Fred "Beyonce" Martinez Jr., a murdered Navajo 2 Spirit

Fred C. Martinez Jr, Beyonce, and their short life as a Two Spirit

“I wish every human life to be pure, transparent freedom,” a quote which embeds itself into the memory of many, was spoken by Simone de Beauvoir. The sentiment is pure; it’s a genuinely good and authentic hope to want freedom for all in society.

It goes unsaid, sadly, but freedom is far from reality for too many people in marginalized communities.

It is especially difficult for those inhabiting intersections of identities such as being an ethnic minority and LGBTQIA2S+ — or as discussed in this episode, a gay two-spirit Navajo teen, or a nadleehi, who went by both Beyoncé or the name found on his birth certificate: Fred Martinez Jr. His identity has roots deep in a part of cultural lore which varies in detail and storyline per tribe, but remains consistently valid, accepted, and exalted across the hundreds of first-nations communities?  The sacred identity of the Two Spirit.

Native American Culture

According to legend, two spirits are people who have within them a masculine or male spirit as well as a feminine or female spirit. Depending on the tribes own unique culture, though always recognizing and confirming the identity and sacredness of those who belong to what, to outsiders, may appear to be a third-gender, gender deviance, or nonbinary gender.

Beyonce is the name

With his eye make-up on, purse, uninhibited acceptance of himself, and a supportive family, Beyoncé did no harm being who Beyoncé was.  Unfortunately, there are people who have not evolved along with the rest of society and try to force their expired values and ignorance on those who challenge their world view. People like Shaun Murphy who would fly into an uncontrollable rage over homosexuality. People like Shaun Murphy who would brag about killing a fellow human being over their sexual orientation. Murphy killed an innocent soul over something harmless, something self-contained, something which would not affect Murphy in any way unless he made it affect him. And he did.

Hate Crime Statutes

Hate-crime statutes widened to offer more coverage, and while Martinez’s death inspired this important change it exposes the lack of preventative care offered to marginalized communities. Suffice to say, we will see many more unnecessary martyrs before society accepts the “ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure” adage as a guiding light.

No More Martyrs

20 years ago, multiple foundations grouped together hoping to convince the press and media to give Martinez’s murder the attention it deserved. Now, 2 decades later and still fighting for equity across the country and world, I hope to help give light to the loss of Beyoncé, Fred C Martinez Jr, as I cover his murder, offer a brief, unfortunately reductive a history and spirituality behind two-spirits across different indigenous cultures, and hope to bring attention to this overlooked murder of a Navajo teenager.


The two promos featured in this episode are from the MensRea podcast and the Cult of Domesticity podcast. Do yourself a favor by checking out these two podcasts and the 3 strong, intelligent, and talented women who host them.



National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1(800) 273-8255 (online chat available)
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Crisis Text Line: Text START to 741-741
Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Text from anywhere in the USA to text with a trained Crisis Counselor.

Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN): 1(800)656-HOPE)
The nation’s largest organization fighting sexual violence, RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice. (For TTY services, call 1(800)810-7440)

U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1(800)799-7233 (Eng. & Span.)
They also have an online chat feature available. Operating around the clock, seven days a week, confidential and free of cost, the National Domestic Violence Hotline provides lifesaving tools and immediate support to enable victims to find safety and live lives free of abuse. Highly trained, experienced advocates offer compassionate support, crisis intervention information and referral services in over 170 languages. (For TTY services, call: 1(800)787-3224)


The Trevor Project: 1(866) 488-7386
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.

The GLBT National Hotline (age 26&up): 1(888)843-4564
The GLBT National Youth Talkline(youth serving youth through age 25): 1(800)246-7743
Both provide telephone, online private one-to-one chat and email peer-support, as well as factual information and local resources for cities and towns across the United States.

Pride Institute: 1 (800) 547-7433
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Chemical dependency/mental health referral and information hotline for the LGBTQ community.


Share This Post:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.