|Gareth Henry is a badminton player and Jamaican native who now calls Toronto his home. He served as a co-chair with the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) and saw many of his friends get killed due to violence towards homosexuals on his island. He has commented that violence against the LGBQT community has been made into a normal everyday occurrence and that this has caused horrific violence to go unnoticed by the mainstream media and the world. He, himself, has been the target of Jamaican law enforcement due to his efforts and has had to endure multiple beatings at their hand.
Gareth Henry hid out for some time and was then found by Jamaican law enforcement who threatened to kill him. He was scared enough that he filed for refugee status and moved to Canada later on. He now serves as an interim director with the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation and also volunteers with the Rainbow Railroad, which is a nonprofit that works to relocate abused LGBQT individuals from all over the globe. He has endured a lot of abuse and has witnessed horrific beatings and other brutality that has been acted out on many other members of the LGBQT community.
As an LGBQT activist, Gareth Henry has been able to help many people through the Rainbow Railroad and has worked with more than 60 refugees to help move them to another country other than the one where they face constant abuse. He is hoping to reverse the current paradigm where the LGBQT community is a target for hate groups and other hateful individuals and points to English laws that punished same-sex relationships in his home country of Jamaica as being the origins of the current way they are treated. Gareth Henry is hoping that more people will begin to challenge society and its beliefs. Today, he lives in Toronto with his fiance, who also fled Jamaica, and other members of his family who were being harrassed by Jamaicans. He is happy to be a part of the Rainbow Railroad and will continue to work to free as many people as possible from the harassment and abuse they live with daily.
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