Pedro Zamora

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Pedro Pablo Zamora (born Pedro Pablo Zamora y Díaz, February 29, 1972–November 11, 1994) was a Cuban-American AIDS educator and television personality.[1][2] Zamora, who was openly gay and publicly discussed being HIV-positive, brought international attention to HIV/AIDS and LGBT issues and prejudices through his appearance on MTV's reality television series, The Real World: San Francisco.[1][2]

U.S. President Bill Clinton credited Zamora with personalizing and humanizing those living with HIV—especially to Latino communities—with his activism, including his testimony before Congress. His romantic relationship with Sean Sasser was also documented on the show with the two getting married on air; their relationship was later nominated by MTV viewers for "Favorite Love Story" award.[3][4]


Early life

Zamora was born in Diezmero,[1] San Miguel del Padrón on the outskirts of Havana, Cuba, the eighth and youngest child of his family. His father, Hector, had fought in the Cuban Revolution for Fidel Castro, but became disillusioned with the changes after Castro came to power and revealed himself as a communist. According to Pedro, any mention of Castro in their home would result in a tirade from Hector, for which he earned a reputation with local informants, who as a result, made life difficult for the family. The Zamoras lived in a small house with a dirt floor. Food was scarce, and Zamora's mother, Zoraida Diaz,[2] would trade on the black market for food.[5]

After the birth of their seventh child, Zoraida had been told that she would not be able to have another, so when Zamora was born feet first on February 29, 1972, the leap day of a leap year, he was regarded as charmed, and treated specially by those in his community.[6]

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