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Barry Thomas Rogers, who was known to friends as "J.T.," was born in Milledgeville, Georgia, the son of J.T. and Connie Rogers, and raised in a conservative Baptist home. He had two sisters (Kim and Angela) and a brother (Scott). He attended Gilead Christian Academy, a Christian high school in Macon, Georgia and the fundamentalist Bob Jones University (BJU) in Greenville, South Carolina. Rogers was expelled from the university midway through his senior year when he chose to come out. He had a Celtic cross tattooed above his right biceps, clearly visible in all his pornographic films.
Rogers had minor roles in films outside of the gay porn industry. He was an extra in the made-for-TV movie Unconquered, was twice a contestant on The Dating Game (winning once), and appeared on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon as a Jerry Lewis impersonator.
Gay porn star
In 1988, Rogers moved to California and worked for more than a decade in the gay pornography industry, often making films for Chi Chi LaRue. He won two Adult Erotic Gay Video Awards: "Best Supporting Actor" in 1993 for the film Body Search (directed by Chi Chi Larue) and in 1995 for All about Steve he also won the AVN Award for "Best Supporting Actor" for the latter film. He also was employed at Drakes Melrose, Pier One Imports, and worked as a barback for the Atlanta club, "The Metro".
He moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1999 and tried stand-up comedy, but he struggled financially. After being diagnosed as HIV-positive, he continued to make pornographic films, working with Atlanta-based producer Dick Wadd to make hardcore and bareback sex films.
After April 2004, Rogers shared a house with his friend Adam Kahn in midtown Atlanta and sought financial assistance to find a home of his own. Rogers suffered from chronic depression, and lived with both HIV and hepatitis. He committed suicide on 7 November 2004 by hanging himself with wire on the fence of the Atlanta Botanical Garden. A suicide note complained of his frustration at not being able to receive assistance from Social Security.
After his death, his cousin Jamey Rousey, who worked with the Atlanta AIDS Partnership Fund, called Rogers "a kind and gentle soul, and as tragic as his death was, I hope he’s found the peace he couldn’t find in life."
- Bachelor Party: Big Switch 3 (Catalina Video)
- Body Search (1993, HIS Video)
- Brotherly Love 2 (1991, Stallion Video)
- Movers & Shakers (Vivid Man)
- On the Lookout (Jocks Video Pac 46)
- Pigs at the Troff (Dickwadd)
- Steamy Summer
|AVN Awards for Best Supporting Actor-Gay Video
for All About Steve
for Happily Ever After
- DYANA BAGBY (Nov 19, 2004). "Former gay sex film star commits suicide". SOVO.com. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- In March 2005, Barry's parents constructed a memorial cross at the site where their son ended his life, which has since deteriorated.
- On 10 November 2004, he was buried next to his grandfather at Baldwin Memorial Gardens in Milledgeville, Georgia. A memorial service was held on Sunday, 21 November 2004, at noon, in the gazebo Atlanta's Piedmont Park. While officially listed as November 7, 2004, Rogers may have died on November 6, 2004, the sixteenth anniversary of the death of his best friend Stephen Boyd from cancer.
- Washington Blade, November 26, 2004