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Gaydar Cofounder Henry Badenhorst Dead At 51 From Apparent Suicide

The LGBT advocate was listed as the fourth most influential gay person in the United Kingdom in 2007.

Henry Badenhorst, the cofounder of the groundbreaking dating website Gaydar, died over the weekend after falling from the 23rd floor of the Michelangelo Towers in South Africa.

Although the cause of death has not been formally announced, it is believed that he jumped in an act of suicide, according to a report from Buzzfeed News.

Badenhorst teamed up with his partner, Gary Frisch, to create Gaydar in November 1999 after hearing a friend complain about the difficulty of finding a boyfriend on existing dating sites.

As one of the world’s first gay sites for online dating, the couple revolutionized the experience by introducing live chat rooms, location searches and profile pages. It also helped gay men connect at a time when so many were too afraid to come out of the closet.

Frisch died in 2007 after also falling from the balcony of a building, and Badenhorst’s friends said he never fully recovered from the tragedy.

“Eighteen years ago, Henry and his partner Gary revolutionized the way that gay men meet, and in doing so, created a safer environment for LGBT people everywhere,” Gaydar’s current managing director, Rob Curtis, told Buzzfeed. “The Gaydar team is shocked and saddened to hear of Henry’s passing and send our sincerest sympathies to Henry’s friends and family.”

Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.