Black History Month: Marching in Gucci event

Carlee Smith

On Feb. 6, Chad Goller-Sojourner performed “Marching in Gucci: the Memoirs of a Well-Dressed Black AIDS Activist” in the Silverthorne Theatre.
Goller-Sojourner was a captivating speaker with a fascinating story. One student who attended described Goller-Sojourner’s story as “very emotional and inspiring.”
He heartbreakingly described how the AIDS epidemic affected him, as a gay man, and his community.
Many of his friends were diagnosed with AIDS and a good portion of them died because of it. He saw too many people on their deathbed who had no support or comfort from their family because of the fear and shame that was associated with AIDS.
During the AIDS epidemic, the speaker dealt with his own issues of passive suicide idealization, cocaine addiction and bulimia.
Goller-Sojourner also told of how he became an activist during this time and was a part of a march on Washington to promote awareness of AIDS. His story was very moving and touching.
Dr. Sarah Graham, Assistant Professor of Music, had this to say about the event, “It was one of the most well-attended events we’ve hosted, and there were quite a few students in attendance, which was really encouraging. Several students mentioned that they didn’t know much about the AIDS epidemic, and so they learned a lot.
This performance required Chad to be very vulnerable, sharing intimate gut-wrenching details with the audience. However, Chad has a way of presenting heavy material, then throwing in quick-witted humor so that we don’t dwell for too long on the emotionally heavy aspects.
Chad is a brilliant memoirist, and the biggest takeaway is that it is important to tell your story, listen to other people’s stories and to learn from them.”