Gareth Henry: The story of purpose

Gareth Henry once considered an icon in “Jamrock” has over the years been an enemy of the state. What would make a Jamaican star endure so much hatred despite representing his country in badminton championships? Well, the story began on 20th October 1977. Born to an absentee father and a mother who was at her teenage years; Gareth Henry managed to follow his dream of playing badminton. At age 33 he won the men’s singles and doubles and mixed singles bronze medal during the Central American and Caribbean games. From 2013 to 2017 he won both the Carebaco cup and the San Domingo opens of 2013.

While winning many hearts during his games, Gareth Henry always maintained a secret – one that would almost cost him his life. At the age of 15, he realized that he was not normal – he had a liking for men. This compromised his position as a badminton player. In 1993, he escaped home to experience freedom, leaving his sister, mother, and grandmother. After moving to a new location, he helped in establishing Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, and Gays. This is a foundation that helped raise awareness while demanding equal rights with other people. After the stabbing of their leader, Gareth Henry took leadership of the organization. In a bid to demand equal rights, Gareth and his members held peaceful demonstrations over time. This didn’t auger well with other citizens. They viewed his actions as evil and an abomination to the true values of Jamaica.

This took a turn for the worst in 2007 when he was aired in world media organization being hit by police officers in front of over 200 people. After being released, his persecutors tracked him down and on each occasion warning him that they would kill him. Realizing his life was in danger he set out for Canada as an asylum seeker. Currently, he is trying to get justice for all their persecutions under the police by suing the Jamaican government.

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