MTV’s The Real World wasn’t always the alcohol-fueled neanderthal breeding program it became in later seasons. The show’s first few casts helped to not only pioneer socially-conscious reality television, but they also told some of the most ground-breaking stories about the LGBT community ever to grace the medium.
The third season, based in San Francisco, famously featured the story of HIV/AIDS activist Pedro Zamora. Born in Cuba, Zamora and his family came to America in 1980 and resided in the suburbs of Miami. He learned he was HIV-positive while still in high school, and spent the years following his diagnosis speaking out about living with HIV/AIDS and the importance of educating young people about the disease.
As part of 1994’s The Real World: San Francisco cast, Pedro furthered the national dialogue about HIV/AIDS. A former honor student and star athlete, he pushed his roommates’ understanding of people living with HIV/AIDS, and, in turn, the perceptions of audiences. (He also taught us that Puck was an idiot, but we probably would’ve come to that conclusion on our own.)
Revisit Pedro’s impact with some clips, AFTER THE JUMP …