Yuval David
Filmmaker, Director, Actor, Host, Activist and Advocate

Diplomacy: Opening doors for the marginalized

Yuval David is a LGBTQ leader who works with several organizations, including Israel Gay Youth, Rainbow Railroad, Freedom House, and more. (courtesy)

A series of meetings are taking place with national leaders, diplomats and myself, but there is nothing that can be publicly shared about them.  

At the end of a recent meeting, I laughed and said, “I guess we are not taking a selfie together.”  

This unofficial diplomacy, where we discuss matters privately that can have significant affects publicly, is vastly important. And there must be discretion and understanding in the meetings, especially with people who I know can suffer from severe consequences for meeting with me. 

Oftentimes, when I meet with political leaders of democratic countries, we do so with the freedoms afforded to us as citizens. And when I meet with the political leaders from dozens of – let’s call them “not-so-democratic” countries – we do not share much publicly that I met with them. When these fascinating individuals, each of whom are dedicated to promoting peace and finding ways to liberate their own nations, and some only trying to do so for economic gains, I reach a point to where I realize unofficial diplomacy goes a long way.   

My unofficial diplomacy receives the consent American and Israeli governmental members. There are things I can do and say that they cannot.   

What are we talking about and who am I meeting?  

Recently, I met with senior representatives of a Middle Eastern nation where it is illegal to be homosexual and being LGBTQ is faced with punishments of imprisonment and death. If leadership in these representatives’ homeland knew they met with me – a Jewish, Israeli and American, LGBTQ activist – they could face harsh punishments, the least of which would be the removal from office and their positions. 

We spoke about their desires to boost their nation’s economy, and how they can deal with business relations with Jewish, Israeli, American minorities, and LGBTQ people, including the rights of LGBTQ people within their nation.  Discussing these important matters, such as how and why things should change within their country, became a friendly conversation, mixed with banter over drinks and food.  

In the fight for the rights and protections of marginalized people worldwide, we have to meet face-to-face with those enabling and even promoting marginalization and victimization.   

I call it unofficial diplomacy, meeting with world leaders on behalf of both the LGBTQ and Jewish communities to discuss growth, ways to work together, ending hatred, persecution and violence.  

In many nations, being part of the LGBTQ community is illegal and one can literally be put to death. At times, I find myself sitting at a table where I can make a difference. I can provide a unique perspective to someone who may not have necessarily heard a different take on life. 

Hopefully, one day, I will not have to hide these meetings from public forums, such as social media. It is extremely important to show peace efforts taking place – no matter what they are for – whether it be to promote relations with America, Israel, the Jewish people, the LGBTQ community or anything else.  

My optimistic outlook sees these meetings as a step in the right direction.

About the Author
Yuval David – Biography Actor, Host, Filmmaker, Advocate and Activist Yuval David is a celebrated and award-winning actor, host, director, and filmmaker. His creative mantra "to entertain, uplift and inspire" shapes his approach to “storytelling with boldness, vulnerability, and authenticity in representing characters and narratives.” As a filmmaker, Yuval directs, writes, and produces feature length and short films, documentaries, web-series as well as digital and episodic TV content. He currently is directing a feature length documentary that already has been getting industry and media buzz, even before it is released. Yuval’s series, “One Actor Short” have become an award winner and festival favorite, earning more than 75 awards from national and international festivals, including American Picture, Atlanta Film Festival, The Big Apple Film Festival, Global Webisode Festival, NYC Independent Film Festival, New Filmmakers Film Festival, Hollywood Just4Shorts Film Competition, IndieFest, Prague International Film Festival, Top Shorts Film Festival, and Vegas CineFest International Film Festival. Yuval’s other narrative and documentary films and episodic series, including web-series, have also been awarded numerous awards, including Best Film, Best Short, Best Series, and for Yuval specifically as Best Director, Best Actor, Best Producer, and Best Writer in national and international film festivals. As an actor, Yuval plays leading roles in film, television, theatre, web and digital media, as well as voice overs. His acting roles include leading and guest star roles on NBC, ABC, CBS, Showtime, Disney, DreamWorks, Comedy Central, countless independent films, Broadway, Off-Broadway, theatres across the US and abroad, including film festivals and theatre festivals. Yuval has dazzled audiences with his roles on hit television shows, including “Madam Secretary” (CBS), “The Michael J. Fox Show” (NBC), “Days of Our Lives” (NBC), and “What Would You Do?” (ABC), “Unforgettable” (CBS), and “The Plot Against America” (HBO). Yuval’s leading and supporting roles in films include “Beauty and the Beast,” “Nephilim,” “Incipient,” “Awakening of Spring,” “You,” and “The Fifth Estate.” His acting roles in theatre range from contemporary to classic theatrical works, including: Broadway in “The Game;” Off-Broadway in “Romeo and Juliet,” “Leaving an Impression,” “Daddy Issues,” “Bunburry,” and “In The Swing.” As much as possible, Yuval enjoys performing in regional theatres across the United States and abroad, in addition to international theatre festivals. Yuval regularly does voice overs for animation, commercials, narration, documentaries, and industrials. As a TV host and presenter, Yuval focuses on societal, humanitarian, food, travel, cultural and entertainment programming. His work is seen on network television, documentary films, web series, and regularly at live events. He also regularly is a host and MC for special events, galas, and advocacy events for social and political initiatives, institutions, and organizations, especially those focusing on US, Israel, LGBTQ, Arts, Humanitarian, and Cultural causes. In addition to his work in entertainment and media, Yuval is a passionate advocate and activist. Advocacy for the marginalized and under-represented is a driving force, along with his focus on Jewish, LGBTQ, humanitarian, arts and creative initiatives. He uses his creative work as a vehicle for the greater good on behalf of highly respected American, Israeli, and international organizations. Throughout Yuval’s advocacy work with organizations, he is brought in as a keynote speaker, workshop leader, and panelist for discussions regarding: -Art for Social Change -Creative Advocacy -Identity Politics -Marginalized identities and self-empowerment -Jewish Identity -Zionism & Israel -Jewish representation in Entertainment and Media -Jewish, Zionist, and Israeli advocacy within Progressive movements -LGBTQ Identity and Representation -Content Creation -Self-Expression and Self-Empowerment -Storytelling within Entertainment and Media Yuval advocates for all marginalized communities through his creative work and social action, supporting the organizations below. - Embassy of Israel to the United States: Keynote Speaker. - Consulate General of Israel in New York: Speaker, Panelist, and MC for events and initiatives. - Shoah Foundation: Speaker and panelist for events and initiatives. Member of the Creative Council, expanding the reach through new content creation incorporating testimonies filmed by The Shoah Foundation. - Jewish National Fund: Host & Director of Documentary Content, Speaker and MC - Jewish Council for Public Affairs: Speaker and Event MC. Host of video content. - Keren Kayemet: Speaker and panelist. - Stand With Us: Narrator and Host of documentary videos and social media content. Speaker and Panelist. - American Israel Cultural Foundation: Member, Performing Artist, and Speaker - Chabad: Speaker and Panelist. - The Jewish Learning Institute: Speaker and Panelist. - End Jew Hatred: Keynote Speaker, Workshop Leader. - Zikaron BaSalon: Keynote speaker, Advocacy Partner. - JewBelong: Speaker. Member of Board of Directors. - The Aguda, the Israeli LGBTQ rights organization: speaker, panelist, and host of events, including advocating on joint initiatives. - A Wider Bridge: Speaker, MC, and advocate for the organization, connecting Israeli and American LGBTQ communities. Member of the Leadership Council. - National LGBTQ Task Force: Speaker and Workshop Leader at annual Creating Change Conference; Advocate and Speaker at numerous events, including advocating to elected officials about LGBTQ initiatives; National Leadership Council; Host and Director of Documentary Video Content. - GLAAD: Partner for advocacy initiatives in press/media. - Lambda Legal: Speaker and host - Covenant House NY: Speaker at events for homeless youth. - Rainbow Railroad: Organizational Ambassador, advocating on behalf of LGBTQ people in need of rescue. - Freedom House: Advocate and actively aiding in helping LGBTQ people and other marginalized people escape persecution and human rights atrocities. - The Giving Group Community: Founding Member. Philanthropy connected to Israel. - Guest speaker, panelist, and workshop leader for Jewish organizations. Please find samples of his advocacy work and speaking engagements below: Advocacy. Speaking clips. Jewish and Israeli Causes. LGBTQ Causes. Social Journalism. You can view more on Yuval and his work at these links below:
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