Today: Jun 16, 2024

A glimpse into the life of a ‘Bulimic Black Boy’

Chad Goller-Sojourner talked about his life experiences from when he suffered from bulimia.

Simone Virzi, Staff Writer:
Chad Goller-Sojourner said when he was 16 years old, he collected and hid scales the way a 16-year-old boy would collect and hide pornographic magazines.
“Always use the same scale, wear the same attire, and weigh the same time each day,” said Goller-Sojourner, 40, who performed a one-man, autobiographical show at the event Memoirs of a Bulimic Black Boy.
The scale told him exactly where he stood. He said weighing himself was about rules and rituals.
“Exhale. Approach the scale with reverence. Step lightly onto the scale while offering up prayers for good numbers. Begin counting; one 1,000, two 1,000, three 1,000, four 1,000, five 1,000,” said Goller-Sojourner. “Look down for the reveal. Yes. It’s gonna be a great day. Yes.”
When he was in the sixth grade, Goller-Sojourner said one of his wrestling teammates was throwing up in a bathroom. He asked if the boy was okay.
“He exited the stall holding up two fingers,” said Goller-Sojourner. “He said, ‘I can eat whatever I want, eat whenever I want, and still make weight.’”
Goller-Sojourner said he began making himself sick.
“On a bad day, throwing up was the only thing that stood between me and the bridge,” he said.
When he was 16, Goller-Sojourner said a janitor and guidance counselor caught him getting sick in the bathroom. He said he was sent to a see a therapist.
“He told me I had bulimia, which is Latin for rich white girls’ disease, not cured by pills or prayers” he said.
Goller-Sojourner had already been bulimic for four years, but no one knew.
“No one suspected anything. Not any of those ziplock baggies snuck home from those all-you-can-eat buffets, all those long trips to the bathroom, the constant sound of running water, flushing the toilet three or four times before I emerged,” he said. “When you’re not a rich white girl, staying off the radar is not hard.”
Throughout his life, Goller-Sojourner said he has struggled in multiple ways.
“I’ve always been too much of one thing and not another,” he said. “Too fat, too dark, too gay.”
Having been adopted by a white couple, Goller-Sojourner said he was one of two black students in his fifth grade class. One student, Charles, did not like him.
“I never wanted to beat anyone but Charles,” said Goller-Sojourner. “I wanted to beat him until he was blacker than I was and I could say, ‘Who’s the f—— n—– now?’”
Just before he turned 16, Goller-Sojourner said he had his first sexual experience with another male, who was in his mid-30s. He said it made him feel beautiful.
“I felt worthy,” said Goller-Sojourner. “The only reason I’m still here today is because I have faith, but it’s a personal faith.”
Freshman Laura Muro, a political science major, said she attended the event because she was going to be writing about eating disorders for a class.
“You don’t really hear about African American men having eating disorders,” said Muro. “I liked the way he portrayed [his story].”
Freshman Marissa Fazzino, a psychology major, said she thought the event title was interesting.
“I thought it would be good to know what other people go through with eating disorders,” said Fazzino. “He wants to believe he is beautiful, but no one else believes he is. It was just touching.”
Fazzino also said she felt Goller-Sojourner put down stereotypes of blacks, gays, people with eating disorders.

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