Fighting for the rights of the LGBTQ community in Jamaica is quite different than it is for those in the community of the United States. After 3 attacks by police officers, the badminton player Gareth Henry is more aware of this than most people. After the third attack, he knew that he had to leave his country in order to save his life from the violent, homophobic police brutality.
After the incident made the news on an international level, Canada granted the social justice activist asylum in their country. Gareth Henry finally found himself safe from the streets of Jamaica. Unfortunately, stories like that of Gareth Henry are rather rare in the country. Most of the young men and women in the LGBTQ community do not have the same type of opportunities as him and are forced to live in hiding.
Working with the Rainbow Road, Gareth Henry devotes much of his life to trying to help the young men and women out of dangerous situations in countries that will not accept them for who they are. In addition, he is an adamant advocate for people living with HIV and AIDS. Many people have not experienced or witnessed the atrocities that he has and he wants the world to know about the fear that many people in his community live in every moment of the day.
While leading the first group in Jamaica that championed the rights of the LGBTQ community, Henry experienced the loss of 13 friends. Each of these men and women was killed due to homophobia in the country of Jamaica. Due to the fact that many of them did not have families that would associate with them, he was the one that identified several of their bodies. Gareth Henry believes that the governments of countries like Jamaica should be held accountable for the violence their LGBTQ communities face at the hands of law enforcement. Until law enforcement stops committing these acts of violence against the LGBTQ community and starts protecting their right to simply live their lives, they will always be forced to live in fear.