Gareth Henry: A Champion For Gay Rights

Gareth Henry was born in St. Mary’s, Jamaica on October 20, 1977 to his absent father and his mother who was a teenager at the time. Unlike his sister, the majority of his time was with his grandmother and aunt. From the age of 10 onwards, he knew that he was gay but due to rampant homophobia a gay man experienced, Henry did not feel comfortable coming out to anyone. After moving to live with an uncle before his 16th birthday however, he grew unapologetic about his sexuality.

Once he graduated from Titchfield High School in Port Antonio, Gareth Henry relocated to Kingston where he studied at Excelsior Community College and the University of West Indies and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in social work and a master’s degree in Communications for Social and Behavior Change. He is also a professional badminton player.

Gareth volunteered for Jamaica Aids Support for life in 1997 and the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-asexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) in 1998. Following the murder of the spokesperson for J-FLAG in 2004, however, many were terrified of replacing him until Gareth Henry agreed to step up. It took a dangerous turn as 13 of his friends were murdered and he began to receive violent threats. Due to this predicament, he fled to Toronto for his safety and his family followed him.

From helping relocate LGBTQ refugees to championing gay rights, Gareth Henry helps LGBTQ individuals around the world feel safer, pushing for people of color to fight discrimination and hatred.

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