Gareth Henry’s Life Story

Gareth Andre Theodore Henry is a professional male Jamaican badminton player. He was born on 20th October 1977 in Mandeville Jamaica. He is also an activist for gay rights, social justice, and HIV/AIDS.

Gareth Henry was born to a teenage mother and had no relationship with his mostly absent father. He spent most of his childhood with his grandmother in a single-family home. During his teens, Henry realized that he was attracted to other guys.

Because of the harassment faced by gay men in his society, Henry was unable to share this with anyone and remained to be lonely.

Shortly before his 〖16〗^th birthday, Henry was able to move away from his family, and it was only then that he felt liberated and was able to come out openly as gay.

In 1997, Gareth Henry started as a volunteer for Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL). Here, he got the opportunity to interact with other gay men.

In December 1998, Gareth began volunteering for the newly founded J-FLAG, which aimed at serving the needs of homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgender people in the community.

In the year 2004, Henry did a press interview on the murder of Brian Williamson, who was J-FLAG’s co-founder and spokesman, when very few people were interested in taking over to be the organization ’s public face due to the homophobic danger which most people believed had caused Williamson’s death.

By the end of that year, Henry had become J-FLAG’s lead advocate and the new director. Over the four years that followed, Gareth lost 13 of his friends to homophobic attacks.

Henry also found himself the victim of several homophobic attacks from police officers. An angry mob attacked on 14th February 2007, Henry and some gay men at a pharmacy.

Police were called to the scene but they instead verbally and physically attacked Henry and his friends. In January 2008, Henry was forced to flee and seek refuge in Canada due to the increased attacks and harassment from authorities in Jamaica.

His family was also eventually forced to relocate to Toronto following threats in Jamaica. Gareth began working in Toronto with the AIDS Foundation. He became interim director and is currently a service access manager.

Gareth Henry also works with Rainbow Railroad to help to relocate LGBTQ people facing danger and oppression all around the world.

In sports, Gareth Henry was part of the national team that won bronze at the 2018 Pan Am Men’s Team Championships. He also won the men’s doubles with Samuel O’Brien at 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games.

He also teamed with his sister Geordine Henry and won the mixed doubles title six times at the Jamaican National Badminton Championships.