"I'd ask that on this incredible milestone that we try to remember how he lived, and how he literally changed the world," says Judd Winick.
It's been 25 years since the world lost an icon in Pedro Zamora, but his legacy lives on.
A cast member on "The Real World: San Francisco," the reality star gave a face to the AIDS crisis thanks to his endless activism while on the MTV series. Zamora died from complications of the disease at the age of 22, just hours after the season finale aired and only a week after fans watched his commitment ceremony with Sean Sasser air on MTV.
Then-president Bill Clinton was among the many who mourned him after his death at the time, releasing a statement saying, "He taught all of us that AIDS is a disease with a human face" and vowing to continue "Pedro's brave fight" after his passing.
On Monday, the 25th anniversary of his death, former costar Judd Winick posted a lengthy tribute to Zamora on social media, asking followers to remember Pedro for all he accomplished.
"25 years ago today Pedro Zamora passed away and the world was so much lesser for it. I'd ask that on this incredible milestone that we try to remember how he lived, and how he literally changed the world, rather than focusing on our loss of him," he began. "By appearing on THE REAL WORLD in '94, he showed everyone what it was really like to be living with AIDS, to be living out, to love, to be loved by friends, supported by family -- to have a full life."
"And it seems crazy that this was a lesson that needed to be taught. But it did," he continued. "For us who knew him, we still miss our friend. We long to know what life would be like for all of us if he was still here."
Winick, who is married to former costar Pam Ling, said they wish Pedro could have known their own children, "To see how his nieces and nephews have [grown]. And to see their children."
"We believe that in our deeply troubled times that what Pedro would want most from us is to FIGHT," he continued. "Because that, truly, was what he was. A fighter. He was kind, giving, generous, BUT ferocious in his dedication to making the world better for his communities. Better for all of us."
"Every year we will get a year older, but he will forever be stuck in amber. Young. Charming. A beacon of inspiration," he concluded. "And also. Funny. Sweet. Always laughing. But we like to think that his memory, his work, his life, will keep on living."
"Please remember what Pedro would always say: Be safe. And remember to love each other."
Winick, a cartoonist responsible for the Hilo series, has continued to keep Pedro's memory alive in the years since the show. In 2000, he also released the graphic novel, "Pedro and Me," about their friendship.