Gareth Henry, an openly gay Jamaican badminton player, was born on August 10th, 1991. His efforts both on and off the court are astounding and something worth mentioning for the LGBT youth and athletes alike. Born in Mandeville, Jamaica, he is the country’s pride and one of their most decorated athletes. Gareth Henry’s sister is also a professional badminton player and the two teamed up for numerous competitions from 2008 to 2016.
As well as being an Olympic quality athlete, Gareth Henry is also an LGBTQ activist and helps those in his homeland who are discriminated against for being in same sex relationships. His efforts go towards reporting hate crimes and other forms of oppression to the police. Now being a refugee, Gareth Henry travels from his home in Toronto to Jamaica to fight discrimination and bias.
While being involved in going against hateful acts, Gareth Henry has become a target of Jamaican authorities. In fact, 13 of his friends have been killed in attacks. Back in Canada, he has stretched his efforts and has become director of Toronto the People with AIDS Foundation and the Rainbow Railroad. He inspires those with his own true stories of the people he has helped in the past. Gareth Henry knows that most people do not know the real truth about LGBT people in Jamaica and he wants to make a change.
Gareth has assisted about 60 refugees escape their countries, most of them being Jamaican, through the Rainbow Railroad. With putting them out of harm’s way, Gareth explains that although they won’t be rid of all their problems, it put’s them in much safer circumstances.
At only 27 years old, Henry has accomplished what most would find impossible. He has succeeded in sports and he is still to this day helping gay Jamaicans like himself live a peaceful life.