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4 comments | Monday, February 23, 2009

"Over the past few years Pedro became a member of all of our families, now no one in America can say they've never known someone living with AIDS. The challenge to each of us is to do something about it and to continue Pedro's fight. Pedro all of us are very proud of you. -Former President Bill Clinton

The year was 1994 and MTV's The Real World was about to introduce us to a man that would become the face of one of the most devastating diseases mankind has ever had to endure, his name was Pedro Zamora. One of seven roommates chosen to have their lives videotaped over a six month period in San Francisco, this Cuban-American and openly gay HIV-positive man used the power of television to educate and inspire.

On a weekly basis Pedro Zamora allowed the American public to see first-hand what life was like as an openly gay man and a man living with AIDS. Zamora shattered widely held stereotypes about the lives of gay men and those infected with the virus.

He loved openly and fiercely,setting the stage for a commitment ceremony on national television with his then partner Sean Sasser before legalized same-sex marriage was ever in arms reach.

"I'm a person living with AIDS and I'll be living with AIDS until I take my last breath", a quote Zamora often spoke and words he lived by. Zamora held true to those words until his last breath was released on November 11, 1994 at the age of 22, one day after the final episode of The Real World San Francisco aired and a year before life-saving anti-retroviral drugs changed AIDS from a death sentence to a chronic manageable condition.

Fifteen years later Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black, Emmy Award winner Paris Barclay, and director Nick Oceano are bringing Pedro Zamora's life to the big screen in a film adaptation titled "PEDRO".

(l to r Paris Barclay, Dustin Lance Black, Nick Oceano)

Pedro stars newcomer Alex Loynaz in the title role, and focuses on his Cuban family, his relationship with partner Sean, and his close friendship with Real World housemates Judd and Pam.

Zamora's partner Sean will be played by DaJuan Jonhson, roommates Pam and Judd will be played by Jenn Liu and Hale Appleman. Pedro is currently screening in Berlin, U.S. dates are forthcoming.

Relive Pedro's commitment ceremony with Sean below as well as a moving memorial tribute during the last days of his life.

Pedro Zamora Memorial Tribute


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Question: Whatever happened to Sean Sasser? Is he dead or alive? Does anyone know or care?

February 23, 2009 3:29 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

To answer your question Sean Sasser is still alive and healthy. He's currently a pastry chef in Portland, Oregon.

February 23, 2009 5:35 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Oh, I remember the day he died. I thought it was a joke or some promotional craziness for the show since it had just ended. Once I had confirmation, baby, I cried. I felt a loss because it was as if I really knew this man. He was a beautiful person in every way I saw.

And Darian, I just want to say that I am so proud of you. I know we haven't spoken recently but I wanted to let you know I am absolutely proud of you and glad that you have touched my life and spirit. You're no less wonderful than Pedro is.

February 25, 2009 3:50 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

What a great post...and blog. I just finished watching Pedro on LOGO and found myself crying all over again. You have a great blog and thank you once more for the post!

April 04, 2009 3:39 AM


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