Today he doesn't care who knows he's gay.
"I haven't had an adverse reaction to it yet ... but if people have a problem with it then that's their problem," he said.
The 19-year-old is throwing his weight behind a newly formed support group for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, takataapui and fa'afa-fine communities of Southland. Southland Gay and Lesbian Support, or SG'n'LS as it is known, will have its first meeting on Friday and will be run with support from Public Health South.
Public Health South health promoter and instigator of the group Stephen Jenkins said non-heterosexual Southlanders were at risk of being socially isolated and being unable to express their sexuality because of a fear of homophobia or prejudice.
The establishment of a group for non-heterosexual people was a way of promoting the well-being of the community, Mr Jenkins said.
Mr Henderson said the group hoped to be able to set up a support line and make resources about being gay and lesbian available in Southland secondary schools in the future.
Those wanting more information about the group can contact Mr Jenkins on (03) 2110900.