Gareth Henry is a Badminton Player from Jamaica, but he is also a gay rights activist. He knows firsthand about the persecution that happens in his homeland as well as in many other countries against same-sex relationships. He lost 13 of his friend to hate crimes, and he had to flee his country of Jamaica in order to preserve his life. He now lives in Toronto where he is safe, and he is helping to escape their persecution and even death through an organization known as the Rainbow Railroad.
Gareth Henry spends as much of his free time as he can to help save lives in Jamaica, and it is one of 76 countries that do not tolerate same-sex relationships. He was once an activist in Jamaica where he was co-chair of the advocacy group known as Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals, and Gays, or J-FLAG. There are so much hatred and crimes against gays that they have become “normal,” and they aren’t even noticed or heard of. That is why it is so important to get the word out there and to tell the world what’s happening. Gareth Henry is doing just that, and his efforts have helped to make him a target as an activist in Jamaica which is why he had to leave. Gareth Henry’s life was threatened, and he knows what it feels like to be driven from your own home.
There are many refugees who are trapped in a life that is hurting them, and many have had to move to the sewers and cemeteries just to survive. It’s no way to live, but they are still breathing. These outcasts of the community have little hope, but the Rainbow Railroad is saving many refugees like these and is giving them a way to escape their horrifically oppressive lives.
Our society’s more accepting of same-sex relationships and we’re better able to help those in countries that aren’t. In the day and age that we live in, there’s no reason to be oppressive towards others who are different and is an idea that Gareth Henry upholds proudly.