Cambria Press is proud to announce the publication of Pedro Zamora, Sexuality, and AIDS Education: The Autobiographical Self, Activism, and The Real World by Christopher Pullen. We are honored that the book will be launched on June 14 at the GLBT Historical Society Archives and Museum. Dr. Pullen will be flying into San Francisco for the event to speak about his book.
Pedro Zamora was an openly gay AIDS activist of Cuban descent, who became a worldwide media phenomenon, particularly after his participation in The Real World television documentary series, set in San Francisco in 1994, where he openly represented his life as a person living with AIDS. Although Zamora passed away the same year he was on The Real World at only twenty-two years old, his life story continues to be an important contribution to contemporary debates on AIDS education, given how he was such an icon for sexual diversity.
Offering a comprehensive biographical narrative which brings together a wide range of media sources, including not only close examination of The Real World television series itself, the biographical film Pedro, educational documentaries to which Zamora contributed, and news reports from The Miami Herald, The Wall Street Journal, and POZ Magazine, key elements of Zamora’s story are brought together for the first time.
Chris Holmlund, Arts and Sciences Excellence Professor of Cinema Studies, Women’s Studies and French, University of Tennessee; and author of Impossible Bodies, praises the book:
“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.”
This book is in the Cambria Global Performing Arts Series headed by John M. Clum (Duke University).