Pedro Zamora died November 11, 1994, which is 20 years ago today. The former MTV reality star and AIDS activist was a fellow Cuban American. After I was newly diagnosed with HIV in 1992, I drew a lot of inspiration from him during his time on The Real World: San Francisco
. Sadly, he didn't live to benefit from the HIV drugs that saved so many.
Although gone for two decades, Pedro is not forgotten. His legacy continues on in many ways. Earlier this year, the National AIDS Memorial Grove recently renamed
its youth scholarship to honor Pedro. AIDS United offers a public policy fellowship in his name
. In 2011, the Equality Forum made him an honoree
for their LGBT History Month. And in 2009, MTV premiered a movie
about his life.
In 1994, Pedro graced the cover of POZ on our third issue. Click here
to read his cover story. As I mentioned
in my June 2014 letter from the editor marking the 20th anniversary of POZ, I don't remember for sure which issue of POZ I saw first, but I distinctly remember the Pedro issue. I never had the privilege of knowing him in person, but I was captivated -- and I still am.