Gareth Henry has come a long way, literally. Mr. Henry came from Jamaica in 2008 to make Canada his new home after suffering persecution in Jamaica for years. Jamaica is one of 76 countries in which same sex relationships are against the law. Gareth Henry has many stories of friends and fellow gay community members being beaten or killed for their sexual preference. During his time in Jamaica Gareth was a huge supporter of the LGBTQ community actively protesting the laws against the gay community.
Gareth Henry was beaten three times before going into hiding within the country of Jamaica. A year into hiding, a police officer knocked on his car window and told him that now that they found Gareth Henry, he would be dead soon. Mr. Henry applied for entry into Canada and made it safely the next year. Mr. Henry’s family and partner also made their homes in Canada. His family was forced out of Jamaica and relocate due to their support of Gareth.
Now Mr. Henry works for the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation as an interm director. When not working, Gareth donates all his extra time to the “Rainbow Railroad” a non profit that works much like the Undergroud Railroad did. Rainbow Railroad works to relocate LGBTQ people from countries in which they are still undergoing persecution. It was through his work with the Rainbow Railroad that Gareth has helped relocate 60 people in the year 2016 and has plans to keep continuing his efforts.
Rightfully Gareth believes that ultimately the goal is to change legislation in these countries and Jamaica is making some slow progress. There is change happening in little ways, but Gareth Henry believes that politicians need to inact real policies in legislation and offering to help bolster the LGBTQ public image in these countries. Until that time happens, Mr. Henry will continue his important work to ensure the safety of his fellow man.