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Pedro Zamora, Sexuality, and AIDS Education: The Autobiographical Self, Activism, and ...

Chapter :  Introduction
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Pedro Zamora, Sexuality, and AIDS Education:

of a man than I ever was. He taught me and many other people great things. I like to mostly speak to young people. Why? Because perhaps in them, perhaps in them I see [Pedro].

Pedro’s sister Mily Zamora, speaking just before his death, tells us in the documentary A Tribute to Pedro Zamora (Bunim Murray for MTV 1994, US):

For me my brother Pedro is not like a brother, his is like a friend. He is like my son, and my little one. He represents the light of my life. … I remember when he tells me that this is what he wants to do [is to] apply [to be on The Real World], and I say: “Oh you are crazy Pedro? This is not for you!” And he says no, that is the only opportunity that maybe that I can have to [spread the message] to everyone in this world, and it is true and [he did it].

Jeanne Blake as a political collaborator and enabler,2 Hector Zamora as a loving, devoted, and supportive father, and Mily Zamora as a caring and beloved sister who would take on the role of his mother (after she passed away), frame the cultural, social, and personal meaning of Pedro’s life. This foregrounds not only his personal character and depth but also his ability to reach large audiences and to inspire a call to action, suggesting that he was a role model for a generation. I believe this to be true, as despite some twenty-one years since Zamora’s passing, he remains an inspiration to many, myself included.

While Pedro Zamora did not write an autobiography, this book explores his potential as an autobiographical subject and performer. Despite his young age, Zamora was a highly sophisticated public speaker, who was able to use the stories, and experiences from his personal life as a way of reaching out and touching people. In the manner that autobiographies often reveal some inner truth, this book explores the meaning of Zamora’s life, in some senses creating an autobiographical-like narrative and in others, offering context to the reporting on Zamora’s life, bringing ideas together.