Gareth Henry had to seek asylum in Canada when his life was threatened in his home country of Jamaica. Four years ago he was brutally beaten by a policeman who cornered him in front of 200 onlookers. The head of J-Flag fled to Canada a year later.
Gareth Henry is a talented Badminton Player, but he is also a social worker and gay rights activist. He worked with J-Flag for four years, and in that time he had to lose 13 of his friends, and he had to identify a number of them. They were killed simply because they were gay.
Gareth Henry took the leadership role of the group after the leader of the organization, Brian Williamson, was brutally stabbed to death. He had been harassed and abused numerous times by the police, and there was nowhere to turn for help since the police were a part of the problem. A police officer even threatened to take his life, so he fled to Canada.
Gareth Henry was fortunate but there are many who aren’t so lucky, and they’re shamed and even killed. Many are forced to live in cemeteries or even the sewer, and a large majority of the gay population in Jamaica are homeless and impoverished. They are living without any hope and are humiliated on a daily basis simply because they are gay.
Gareth Henry can share many stories that are absolutely horrible, to say the least. There is the man who had Gareth Henry’s intestines ripped out by a pit bull and another who was disfigured by acid that was thrown on him and still another ho drowned because he was driven to the ocean where he could not swim. There are still many countries to this day who do not tolerate sexual differences and will actually kill gays and lesbians simply because they are gay or lesbian. These actions against gays are inhumane, but Gareth is working with Rainbow railroad to help refugees in dire situations to have a chance for a life without harassment or persecution but rather a life filled with acceptance and love.
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