Life Behind the Sport of Gareth Henry

Gareth Henry was born and raised in Mandeville, Jamaica. He did not grow up with a father around. At an early age, Gareth Henry was already aware of his sexuality. It marked the beginning of the awkward stage of life, though he did not feel the need to come out as gay in his hometown with the fear of being intimidated because oppression and abuse of gays were very high in Jamaica during that time. So he was mum about his attraction to the same sex.

A few days before Gareth Henry celebrated his 16th birthday, with the help of his uncle, he decided to run away from home. He gained more confidence to come out in the open and be himself. He worked hard for his education at the University of the West Indies where he finished Bachelor of Science in Social Work with a master’s degree in Communications for Social and Behaviour Change. In 1997, Gareth Henry offered his services as a volunteer to Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL), a non-government organization in Jamaica that supports HIV/AIDS and human rights victims.

In 2007, he was all over the news in Jamaica because he was attached by authorities in a mob of 200 people. The prevalent homophobic attacks and the violence he personally experienced led him to more vocal about his rights as part of the LGBTQ community and become a social justice activist and moved to Toronto, Canada.

Besides Gareth Henry’s advocacy to help the LGBTQ community and people with HIV/AIDS. He is also a household name in the sport of badminton. He recently competed at the Pan Am Men’s Team Championship where he won a bronze medal. He also bagged a gold medal for men’s double with Samuel O’Brien Ricketts at the Central America and Caribbean Games.

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