Born on October 1977 in Jamaica, Gareth Henry is a global LGBT, HIV/AIDS, and social justice activist. While growing up in his native country, he was often attacked and threatened due to homophobic affiliation. He later immigrated into Canada to seek refugee status.
Unlike many other children of his time, he didn’t grow up with his family. He was born to a teenage mother, and his father was consistently absent. He was forced to live with his grandmother who took care of him. He grew up in hardships, and he was only provided for with the basic needs.
When he became of school-going age, Gareth Henry started his grade school. He later joined the high school at a tender age of ten. While in high school, he noticed that he was attracted to Henry’s boyfriends. Due to this special attraction, he was often mocked, harassed and even beaten by his colleagues.
He lost most of his friends and remained alone in the better part of schooling period. At the age of 16 years, he came out publicly as gay. After finalizing his high school education from the Jamaican Titchfield High School, he relocated to Kingston City.
He gained admission into Excelsior Community College. He excelled in his studies and was later admitted into the Western Indies University and graduated with a bachelor’s in Social Work.
Gareth Henry advanced his education with a masters in Communication and Behavior Change. He began volunteering as an activist in the year 1997. He would hold rallies advocating for LGBT rights.
He also served in several social rights organizations including the Jamaica AIDS Support for Life; he was focused in the fight against discrimination for people living with HIV.
Gareth Henry volunteered in the J Flag movement where he was committed to the protection of gay people’s rights.
He later started receiving threatening messages and attacks from the community. He was also regularly harassed by the same police officers who were meant to protect his life.
In 2008, Gareth Henry decided to immigrate into Canada.
He achieved his refugee status courtesy of the Amnesty International organization. He continued his activism in Canada by joining the Rainbow Railroad movement.