Fort Lauderdale activist visiting Israel condemns boycott of LGBTQ film festival

James Moon of Fort Lauderdale is a board member of both A Wider Bridge and South Florida’s Outshine Film Festival. He stands up for TLVFest and Israel’s LGBTQ Community and wrote this editorial for the Miami Herald:

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On June 1, 2017, TLVFest, the international LGBTQ film festival held in Tel Aviv, launched its program with a well-attended cocktail reception packed wall to wall with filmmakers, talent and fans excited for this year’s slate of LGBTQ-themed films.

I was honored to be there as an ambassador for A Wider Bridge (“AWB”). AWB is a North American LGBTQ organization tasked with building support for Israel and its LGBTQ community. We are engaging leaders in politics, entertainment, government and advocacy to participate in 10-day mission to experience the country (including the West Bank) through an LGBTQ lens. We build personal as opposed to political relationships with Israel and its LGBTQ community.

As a non-Jewish gay American on my first trip to Israel, I felt at home among my LGBTQ brothers and sisters, because they were celebrating films that tell our story, in our voice, for our community.

Before we had such film festivals, LGBTQ-themed films would either never be made, or they would never get the funding or distribution necessary to bring LGBTQ stories to a wider audience. I should know — I also sit on the board of the Outshine Film Festival, the international LGBTQ film festival held in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, every year for the South Florida LGBTQ community.

Just as Outshine serves the South Florida LGBTQ community, TLVFest serves the Israeli LGBTQ community by bringing quality LGBTQ-themed content from all over the world in multiple languages that not only educate but entertain.

Make no mistake, Israeli LGBTQ are not like me — they are me. So, I felt completely at ease as a weaved in and out of the shoulder-pressed crowd. Continue reading on Miami Herald