Gareth Henry is no stranger to the cruelty against LGBTQ individuals in a variety of different countries. Once a native to Jamaica, he was forced to relocate to Canada due to prosecution from those in his home. To this day, Jamaican law still allows the prosecution of those in same-sex relationships.
After being attacked on multiple occasions, and even harassed by the police force, Gareth Henry knew that something had to change. He was granted asylum in Canada, and now uses his experiences from his home country to help other individuals in a similar situation. He states, “Moving to Canada was an opportunity for me in choosing between life and death.”
In Toronto, Gareth Henry found work with two LGBTQ organizations. For his career, he directs an aids foundation. Outside of his work there, he volunteers for Rainbow Railroad, a nonprofit that assists LGBTQ people who live in countries that persecute them. He is no stranger to this life-changing relocation, so he is able to bring insider knowledge into his assistance of others in finding a better life. In 2016 alone, he was able to help 60 refugees relocate, many of them from his home country of Jamaica.
Although he lives in Canada now, he still works to improve the living situation of LGBTQ individuals in Jamaica. There have been positive strides in the right direction, the third PRiDE celebration being held in the country in 2017, but violence against the community continues. Gareth Henry hears stories of men doused with acid or attacked by dogs, but he remains hopeful in the work they’re doing. He is a proud supporter of all of the LGBTQ people of Jamaica and urges them to stay strong and diligent in their fight against prosecution.
A man who has faced a hard life, Gareth Henry brings hope to those in similar situations. His fortitude shows that although one may come from a situation of hardship, one must fight to bring justice to light in a world full of hatred and malice.
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