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

by Christopher Pullen

Reviews

“Christopher Pullen gives Pedro Zamora’s extraordinary life compelling form in this illuminating account. He urges to rethink our notions of self and identity. Our lives depend on them, and this book makes clear how very true that is.” —Bill Nichols, author of Introduction to Documentary (Indiana University Press)

"Documenting gay Cuban American activist Pedro Zamora's appearances onscreen, in person, and in print, Pedro Zamora, Sexuality, and AIDS Education reflects on the power of mediated autobiography and testifies to the ongoing importance of working together to combat HIV/AIDS and injustice. Informed by the assessments of 1980s and 1990s AIDs activism offered by Alex Juhasz, José Esteban Muñoz, Simon Watney, Roger Hallas, Randy Shilts, Paul Monette, Marlon Riggs, and others, Pullen's study details how the good-looking Zamora became a skilled educator who excelled at reaching out to youth, especially queer youth, and people of color. Diagnosed as HIV-positive at the age of seventeen, Zamora learned how to be charismatically convincing, conjoining vulnerability, transparency, sincerity, warmth and strength. His articulately "out" role on MTV's 1994 reality show, The Real World: San Francisco, was a highlight; sadly, he died that same year, aged only twenty-two. Kudos to Pullen for so eloquently marshaling Pedro Zamora's life, work, and love, for the present, toward the future." —Chris Holmlund, Arts and Sciences Excellence Professor of Cinema Studies, Women's Studies and French, University of Tennessee; and author of Impossible Bodies


 

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