Henry Badenhorst, co-founder of the game-changing gay dating website, Gaydar, died on November 11th at the age 51. His death is still under investigation, but it is apparent suicide as his body was found after falling from the 23rd floor of the Michelangelo Towers building in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Badenhorst, who began the gay dating site Gaydar with his life and business partner, Gary Frisch in 1999, suffered from depression. Prior to the days of mobile apps, Gaydar was a groundbreaking website that paved the way for others of its kind. The website offered live chat and location searching for its users and fully editable profile pages.
In 2006, Badenhorst and Frisch parted ways, but remained business partners. Sadly, Frisch committed suicide by jumping off the balcony of his flat in South London in 2007, the same year that Badenhorst was named the 4th most influential business person in Britain.
After the death of Frisch, Badenhorst was never the same, although Gaydar grew and saw over five million subscribers at its peek. The site evolved with technology and launched an app version of the site, but Badenhorst eventually selling his shares of the business in 2013.
The current managing director of Gaydar, Rob Curtis, shared with Buzzfeed:
Eighteen years ago, Henry and his partner Gary revolutionised the way that gay men meet, and in doing so created a safer environment for LGBT people everywhere. The Gaydar team is shocked and saddened to hear of Henry’s passing and send our sincerest sympathies to Henry’s friends and family.
A great loss of a pioneer in gay dating technology, a tool that is used globally and that created opportunities and connections within our community.