Dying of Aids – The Testimony of a Former Male Prostitute

By: (Dr. John Ankerberg with Roger Montgomery; ©2004
Roger was molested by a neighbor at age 6 or 7. That experience eventually led him into a life as a homosexual prostitute, with 1,000-1,500 sexual partners by the time he was in his mid-20s. But he was “rescued” from that lifestyle by Jesus Christ.

(This interview was taped in 1989.)

Dr. John Ankerberg: I’d like to introduce to you a young man who is dying of AIDS. His name is Roger Montgom­ery. Roger is only 29 years of age.

Roger, let’s ask the question, number one, when did you find out that you have AIDS?

Roger Montgomery: About three and a half years ago I went to have the test done for the virus. When I went, I knew that I would have it because of so many sexual contacts I had had. I had had anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 contacts, so I knew I would have the virus, but I just wanted to get it on paper. That was about three and a half years ago. And in January I was diagnosed with the disease.

Ankerberg: Let’s go back to the beginning, Roger. You were raised in a relatively fine home, and yet there was some influence in your background that led you to homosexual­ity. Would you tell us about it?

Montgomery: When I was about 6 or 7 years old, I had a neighbor who sexually molested me…homosexually molested me for a couple of years. And my parents…they didn’t give me pornography, but they kept pornog­raphy in the home, which I had access to.

Ankerberg: And your folks didn’t know what was going on?

Montgomery: No, I didn’t tell them about the rape because I was ashamed of what the man was doing; and I was afraid to because of his threat to my life.

Ankerberg: Obviously, they must have been frightening. Did you get used to them or what happened?

Montgomery: For a 6-year-old boy to have the type of sexual relations I had with a grown man —very painful physically. But after a while I began to, you would say, “fall in love” with this man and began to like his sexual aggression toward me.

Ankerberg: You said in your home that you had pornography. What kind of pornography?

Montgomery: It wasn’t hard-core pornogra­phy, if you want to term it that way. It more or less like Playboy and Hustler and my mother kept pornography—Playgirl and things like this where men were featured. And finally, she began to buy gay maga­zines.

Ankerberg: Did you realize you were attracted to males or females at that early age?

Montgomery: I had no sexual attraction for the female at all. And the pornogra­phy…my sexual attraction was strictly for men.

Ankerberg: All right, so, as you went along then, what happened in high school?

Montgomery: Basically nothing actually happened outwardly. I had a few small sexual contacts with kids my own age, the way children play around. But on the inside I began to get more and more addict­ed to pornography. My homosexuality began to grow within me. By the time I was 16 or 17 years old, homosexuality was out of control in my life. I was unable to deal with it in any fashion, even though I was not having sexual contact at the time.

Ankerberg: So what was your game plan as you were growing up?

Montgomery: Religion. When I was about 15 years old, I was introduced to the church. From the time that I was old enough to remember any sort of sexual feelings, my mom and dad were not Christians. They didn’t attend church. But they were supposedly moral people but they had never spoken to me about the issue of homosexual­ity nor had I ever been condemned for homosexuality or heard anyone condemned themselves because no one knew that I was homosexual. But from the very first time I can remember, I remembered a very deep sense of guilt about who I was, that I was homosexual. That guilt was innate within me. No one had to tell me or to force guilt upon me that I was homosexual. So I decided that when I was introduced to the church that possibly religion would be the answer to get homosexuality out of my life, or that would cure me. But I was soon to find out that religion could not change a person that is homosexual into heterosexual.

Ankerberg: What did you do after high school then?

Montgomery: I went to Bible College. Because I figured that if I could separate myself from the influences of my life and go into an atmosphere…a Christian atmo­sphere that I could perhaps overcome and change my sexuality. But my first year in a Fundamental Baptist college I became sexually involved with my roommate and we became lovers the first year.

Ankerberg: So you had no deliverance from homosexuality, even at a Christian school.

Montgomery: No. It had grown…I had not had much if any at all sexual context after the rape until I started college. And then my first year in Bible College I began to open up and to really experience what homosexuality was like and I began to like it. And it began to…at that point…began to dominate who I was.

Ankerberg: And you got kicked out of Bible school, didn’t you?

Montgomery: Right. So I went home, got a job, and came back to a different Bible college in a second attempt—another commitment to God that “God, I’ll give up my homosexuality.” But I couldn’t give up who I was innately.

Ankerberg: So, after the second attempt failed and you didn’t find any deliverance from your homosexuality, then what?

Montgomery: I cursed God to His face. I actually looked up to the sky and cursed God with everything I had because I hated Him! Why had God made me this way? And if God had made me this way and He wanted me to be different, why didn’t He change me? As much as I had tried to be changed, why wouldn’t God change me? And I cursed Him, and denied Him and said, “I don’t want anything to do with you! Get out of my life. Leave me alone.”

Ankerberg: So, you were disillusioned with God?

Montgomery: Extremely! Religion was a lie as far as I was concerned.

Ankerberg: So then what happened?

Montgomery: Almost immediately I got into prostitution. Because at that point, because of my homosexuality I was no longer in control of who I was. I was dominated by a force greater than myself. I did not have the will any more to direct my life at all. So I got into prostitution because I couldn’t hold a job. And I didn’t want a job anyway because it interfered with my sexual “hunt.” And I got into prostitu­tion.

Ankerberg: Why couldn’t you keep a job?

Montgomery: Because the only thing that mattered to me was making sexual contact with other men. And I couldn’t do that in the confines of a job.

Ankerberg: So where did you live then?

Montgomery: I lived mainly on the street, in bus stations. As a prostitute I would pick up…or people would pick me up and I could sleep at their place for the night.

Ankerberg: All right. Yet during this period of time, you’re angry with God, you felt like you’ve been forsaken by Him, and no deliverance; you’re living as a prosti­tute on the street. Obviously, you’re here tonight. Something happened to you. What happened to you?

Montgomery: It came to a point in my life where my life was over. After 4 or 5 years in prostitution, cocaine addiction, alcohol abuse, it came to a point where there was nothing left within me any more. I knew I would have AIDS, and I knew I would probably die. And life had no hope for me whatsoev­er. I had given up on God and it wasn’t even in my mind.

Ankerberg: What was your relation­ship…how did you think about women during this period?

Montgomery: Women have never, ever in my life, since I was a young child, had any sexual attraction to me. As a matter of fact, I looked at women with disgust. But there came a point when I was ready for suicide; there was no hope left in my life—I was empty, I was ruined, sleeping on the street. No more could I even be a prostitute because so many people in the city of Chicago had been with me so many times I was just old trash thrown out even by the homosexual community.

I came to a point in my life where I wasn’t seeking God—Jesus Christ Himself—sought me out. And it wasn’t a religious experience I had with Him, but Christ—the Person that rose from the dead—came to me and He spoke to my heart, and He said, “You know what? I’ve got hope for you. Your life is without hope, it’s ended; I want to give you a new life. I don’t want to change who you are, I want to make you a brand new person.”

And that’s what rebirth is all about. And when I was born again, when I received Jesus Christ, there became a new man inside of me. I was no longer the homosexual that I was, or the prostitute, or that cocaine abuser or drug abuser. But the first thing I had to do when I came to Christ, I said, “Well, Lord, I’ve tried religion; I’ve tried to crucify my own flesh and to follow that.” But then I had to realize that God would accept me, that Christ had come to me as a homosexual—“as you are.”

Ankerberg: Just the way you are. In other words…

Montgomery: Just the way I am, as a homosexual. Homosexuality was no way by far the only sin in my life, but it was one of the sins in my life. I knew it was a sin. I had to confess that homosexuality was a sin in my life. It was not put upon me by the Church. I realized from the point I had any sexual feelings that homosexuality was a sin and it had separat­ed me from God. And at that point in my life, when I received Jesus Christ, for once and at the very beginning, I knew what it was to be a whole person. And with my rebirth I received my heterosexuality.

Ankerberg: Rog, today when you read the newspapers—I’d like to have your opinion—the general consensus is that people are “born” homosexual. What do you think?

Montgomery: I couldn’t comment on the fact whether people are born homosexual or not—I’ll leave that for the scientists. I did not have a choice to my homosexual orientation. I believe it was learned behavior in my behalf because I had no sexual feelings until this man’s rape or until pornography. That was not a con­scious choice I made to be homosexual. But I came to realize that because it was not my choice did not mean it was not a sin or it was not my responsibility to deal with that in my life.

Ankerberg: Describe what kind of relation­ships you had. We hear Bishop Spong and Dr. Martin have been talking about “loving relationships.” What do you think?

Montgomery: You really want to get me in trouble, don’t you?

Ankerberg: Yeah, I’ve got to ask the tough questions.

Montgomery: I have had contact with many thousand homosexual people. And I’ve talked to very many of them during my homosexual lifestyle about that very issue and my own personal relationship. Homosex­ual relationships are not analogous to heterosexual relationship in any form.

Ankerberg: Why not?

Montgomery: Because they are self-centered, self-serving and they’re only after what they can get out of you, and they do not give.

Ankerberg: What do you mean?

Montgomery: They’re after what you can give to them sexually, what you can give to the emotionally. Homosexual people, even though they would like to, cannot give to others in an appropriate, loving type of relationship.

Ankerberg: When you were on the street, all right, and you were selling yourself, how many relationships did you have in an evening?

Montgomery: Sometimes I could have as many as around 10 to 20 relationships…sexual contacts in an evening. There are places in the city where gay people go, a bath­house or similarly related places, where they can contact as many as 50 and upwards sexual contacts in one evening.

Ankerberg: When you wake up the next morning, are you fulfilled?

Montgomery: No. Homosexuality leads only to emptiness. It will not produce within the person —seeking gratification through homosexuality—will not produce that desired peace and fulfillment. It only leaves emptiness.

Ankerberg: What was the thing that you missed all of your life in Bible college and then all of a sudden you found along the way that brought you to Christ?

Montgomery: That I could come to Christ as a homosexual; that I didn’t have to change when I came to Him [but] that He would change me. I had tried so often to change from homosexual to heterosexual but it is not within the homosexual’s power to change. It is not. The only thing that can change the homosexual is rebirth and the power of God. It wasn’t by my own willpower. I didn’t pull myself up by my own bootstraps. It was a divine rebirth from Christ Himself.

Ankerberg: We’re going to just take a break right now, but when we come back we’re going to talk about the fact that you face death, and yet God changed you so much, the fact is that you actually have gotten married and you’ve had a child. And we want to talk about that. Just hold on and we’ll talk about it when we come right back.

* * * *

Ankerberg: We’re back, and Roger, from the time that you invited Christ into your life and you were changed, how long was it before God changed your orientation, your desire, from men to women?

Montgomery: When I received Christ and was born again, I became a heterosexual at the point of my rebirth. It was about a year to a year and a half before I began to really realize and to walk in heterosexuality.

Ankerberg: Okay. During that time, did you face temptation?

Montgomery: Incredible temptation!

Ankerberg: Tell me about it.

Montgomery: Where I worked, every morn­ing…God had given me a job—that was one of the first things He did after my salvation is He gave me a job. I had to go through the gay community. And every day the temptation to get off the train or to walk into the bar or to make sexual contact was incredible. The only thing that kept me out of homosexual activity was the fact that I had a pastor in a small church I attended—he didn’t know anything about homosexuality or any advice to give me, but if I was tempted to go to the bar or to stop off, I would call him and say, “Pas­tor, I’m very tempted.” He’d say, “I’m going to meet you here in 25 minutes. If you’re not here I’m going to come looking for you. And when you get here you’re going to spend the night with me and you’ll sleep at my house and we’ll be praying for you.”

And then the fact that Christ did a miracle. I confessed that, and I knew that the homosexual lifestyle was wrong, that I could follow it and stay in it if I wanted to, but that was wrong. What I needed to do was to walk, trust Christ that heterosexuality was right.

Ankerberg: Tell us about when you met the girl that you eventually married.

Montgomery: My wife—I told her from the very beginning that I was an ex-homosexual and that I had AIDS…or I had the AIDS virus. My wife, when I finally did tell her—she was dating my best friend at the time—when I did tell her and we started dating, she said she knew, just… because she did know and that she didn’t care. She wanted to marry me anyway.

Ankerberg: And she did.

Montgomery: And she did. We have a year and a half old daughter and another, a son, due in July.

Ankerberg: And the fact is that the last testing…

Montgomery: It was about a month ago. All of my…my wife and my child that is a year and a half now is still negative. They have not contracted the virus.

Ankerberg: As you face death, how do you think?

Montgomery: I don’t think about AIDS much because the time that I’ve had AIDS has been the happiest time of my life—not because I have AIDS but because in Christ’s sufficiency I have a new life. I have what I’ve wanted all of my life—to be a whole person. I’m no longer homosexual, I’m heterosexual. And my life is complete in Christ and fulfilled now. No longer is it the bondage that enslaved me, that I lived under for so many years. The lie that Satan had perpetrated upon me: That homo­sexuality was okay and it was a part of me.

Ankerberg: Roger, there may be thousands of homosexual men and women that are listening to you right now. What would you like to say to them?

Montgomery: There’s hope. What is going to keep…what is destroying the homosexual community is, used to be, that people that were homosexual wanted to change. But now they don’t want to any more. I just want to tell the homosexual community, don’t give up hope. Turn back to the Scripture for your authority that homosexuality is wrong. Christ not only condemns homosexu­ality, He offers as a free gift new life and change for those who will accept it. But until you realize that your homosexual­ity is sinful and that it separates you from God…you can never have happiness and peace as a homosexual. Not true happiness.

Ankerberg: We’re going to close with that. And, Rog, you did terrific tonight in sharing that with us and we appreciate you having the courage to come up here right at this point in front of this big crowd to say those things.

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