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.
To Henry. The man who revolutionised gay dating. Our founder and our friend. Thank you for dreaming. You will be forever in our hearts. Gaydar xxx pic.twitter.com/16nhdpHW1v
— Gaydar (@Gaydar) November 12, 2017
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.
Rest in peace Henry Badenhorst – 18 years ago Henry and his partner Gary revolutionised gay dating and started @Gaydar. Creating a safe way to meet other guys and changing the way we interact forever. My thoughts are with his friends and family. pic.twitter.com/SvIQugOPSr
— Tom Knight (@TJ_Knight) November 12, 2017
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.”