GARETH HENRY – BADMINTON SUPERSTAR AND ACTIVIST OF GAY RIGHTS
Gareth Henry is an openly homosexual professional Jamaican badminton athlete that is admired and respected for his talents and skills. He was born on August 10, 1991, in a small town in Jamaica called Mandeville. His birth name is Gareth Andre Theodore Henry. He presently resides in Toronto, Canada. Mr. Henry is one of the youngest players to participate in badminton at a professional level. At the age of 15, Gareth competed against players that were much older than him. He believed that challenging older players gave him the insight and confidence to improve his skills. Gareth Henry graduated from Titchfield High School in Port Antonio, Jamaica. He transferred to Kingston, Jamaica and gained admission to Excelsior Community College.
He continued his education in the West Indies, earning a B.S. degree in social work and completing his education with a Master’s degree in Communicating for Social and Behavior Change. Gareth is not the the only badminton player in his family. His sister, Geordine Henry, is also a professional player. The sister-brother duo won the mixed doubles titles a total of six times during the National Badminton Championships. Mr. Henry also teamed up with Samuel O’ Brien Ricketts for gold medal honors at the Central American and Caribbean games of 2018. Gareth has competed and won many team competitions such as Common Wealth Games, Pan American Games, and the Common Wealth Games. Gareth is also a member of the Jamaican men’s team that won the Pan A Men’s Championship in 2008.
Gareth Henry’s personal life has experienced violence and death threats because of his sexual orientation. As a humanitarian and out-spoken activist for the LGBTQ people in Jamaica, Gareth has reached out to oppressed people experiencing same-sex relationships, suffering, and discrimination. Henry worked as co-chairman of the advocacy group for the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals, and Gays (J-FLAG) that was founded in 1998. In addition, Gareth works in Toronto, Canada, as the interim director with the AIDS Foundation. In the ongoing fight to change oppression, Gareth Henry continuously assists the refugees through the Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian non-profit organization that was founded in 2006 which assists the refugees escaping from homophobes violence and persecution in Jamaica and worldwide in an effort to get them to a safe haven.