Gareth Henry, who is 39-years-old, is a Jamaican badminton player. His first international competition was the Pan American Games in 2011. He also played at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and returned to the Pan American Games in 2015 and in 2018. At the 2018 Pan American Games, he was a member of the team that took bronze. His first gold medal occurred at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games when he teamed up with Samuel O’Brien Rickets for men’s doubles.
He is also a notable defender of gay rights. Gareth Henry says that he has faced a lot of persecution for being gay and wants to help others who face the same circumstances in their lives. He has helped many LGBTQ people escape persecution in Jamaica, including people who were facing death. Jamaica is one of the 76 countries around the world where having a consensual same-sex relationship is a crime.
Gareth Henry lives in Toronto, Canada. He has been advocating for gay people in Jamaica for many years. He has had 13 friends of his killed in Jamaica for being gay. His advocacy includes having once been a co-chair of a gay rights organization, Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals, and Gays. His advocacy has led to him being targeted by the government. He was beaten by a group of policemen in 2007 while he was outside of a pharmacy, during which time there was a jeering crowd encouraging the cops. He says that was the third time the police had targeted him.
Later that year Gareth Henry says that a police officer told him they were going to kill him. He filed for refugee status and a year later Canada accepted him. He quickly found a job in Canada at the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation. He is presently serving this nonprofit organization as its interim director. He is also a volunteer for the Rainbow Railroad, another nonprofit, that works around the world to relocate LGBTQ people who are being persecuted. He has heard some completely horrific stories while volunteering but was raised up by a mom who proactively wanted to save her gay son and contacted Rainbow Railroad to do so.