'I can't wait to share my life with Mark' - Attitude speaks to the man from *that* incredible proposal video
The dancers, the music, the soppy declarations of love: We all know the drill when it comes to flash mob proposal videos, but people around the world were left stunned last week after the one New York couple's tear-jerking engagement video went viral online.
There certainly wasn't a dry eye at Attitude HQ as we watched Yuval David's completely overwhelmed reaction to the realisation that this wasn't any old flash mob on the streets of NYC, but actually his partner Mark's way of asking him to spend the rest of their lives together.
With the video racking up well over half a million views already, we caught up with Yuval to find out exactly what was running through his head as Mark finally jumped up to join in with the routine, and what the future holds for the couple. In our chat, the Big Apple-based actor, writer and producer discusses wedding plans, why his incredibly supportive late grandfather is still with the couple in spirit, and why he won't let one homophobic wedding planner ruin their big day...
Firstly, congratulations to the pair of you! How does it feel being an engaged man?
Proper! I have to admit that it feels so much more normal for us to be engaged. The term ‘boyfriend’ never seemed adequate for us; ‘partner’ seemed to describe our connection better. And now ‘fiancé,’ well, that sounds so wonderful! Our togetherness just feels right to us When you know, you know! And marriage equality has been long overdue. Not too long ago, gay and lesbian couples were not able to use the term fiancé - and, now we are.
Can you tell us a bit about your relationship with Mark? How did you first meet?
We met on OK Cupid. I wanted to meet someone who was right for me; someone I could be with for the rest of my life. I was ready to be alone instead of being with the wrong person, but I hoped to meet the right person, and I did! I like to say that he’s not the man of my dreams, he’s the man who surpassed my dreams!
Our first date was at a coffee shop in Columbus Circle by Central Park. The conversation was splendid and the attraction was there, but his soulfulness and intellect made him even more attractive. I’d say our relationship keeps getting better every day. We feel lucky and blessed to be together – and he’s joined in my adventurous ways, and now does all the same outdoor adventure sports I do like skiing and surfing, which I’m very proud of him for!
Were you expecting a proposal? Had it been talked of?
We knew we wanted to get married, but there’s not real protocol who is supposed to propose to whom in a gay relationship is there? We had many romantic moments when one of us almost proposed to the other, but then Mark said he wanted to propose to me. He obviously was very coy about his plans though!
Can you take us back to the moment you were watching the flash mob and finally realised what was about to happen?
Well I didn’t think seeing a flash mob was really out of the ordinary. I’d spent the day with Mark and my family, who were visiting for the weekend. Then we saw what I thought was with a random dance company performing, and I thought, ‘what a great day – it just keeps getting better!’ I am fond of dance and performance art, and when our favourite love song started playing, I thought ‘what a splendid coincidence!’ It was as if all was right in our world.
I had no idea what was actually happening until the dancers all called out ‘5, 6, 7, 8’ and Mark started dancing their choreography. I was just completely overcome by emotion; just dazzled by what my Mark had done to plan and create this massive life event. And as you saw I obviously lost control a little bit!
Are you ever going to trust people dancing in public again?!
I will probably keep a closer eye on Mark to see what he might be up to in those moments!
What was your family’s reaction to the proposal?
My family adores Mark! They are so very happy for us. Every member of my family welcomed Mark so easily and fluidly, just as he has with them. So, the family was cheerfully weeping along with us and the joy of extending our family to include Mark.
Growing up gay, was marriage something you always hoped for one day?
Yes, I guess it was. I hoped I would be in a relationship someday, get married to the person I love, and have a family. Yet, for most of my life, gay marriage was not a legal option. While I was living and acting in Los Angeles, I was active in demonstrating against the Proposition 8 ruling, which eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry [in California]. Marriage equality should not have been an issue anymore, but it was. I knew it was about time for any LGBT person to have full protection under the law - Friday, June 26, 2015, when the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, was such a monumental day for us.
How does it feel to know the world has been part of your romantic day?
We’re just in utter awe. I looked online and the number of views is up to 530,000 already, with mostly positive comments. The outpouring of good energy, jubilant messages, and love affirmations are empowering and show just how far we have come in this world, where the love between two men is lauded.
What are your plans for the big day itself? Set a date yet?
We do not know when yet, but we do know that we want to have a celebratory party! We need to give our family and friends advanced notice, as they’re all spread out across the globe. But actually I phoned a resort in the Bahamas that seemed perfect, but after their wedding planner and she realised it was a gay wedding, she got silent and then turned me down, as apparently they have a policy against same-sex weddings. That was really disheartening. We hope to find somewhere else that is accepting and beautiful, preferably with a beach and pools where we can have a big dance party!
Do you think the wedding itself can surpass that amazing proposal?
Well, Mark set the bar high with the proposal. But I know how to throw a good party and am up for the challenge of having a wedding that will surpass the amazing proposal! But the proposal itself will forever be ingrained in my memory as one of the most special days of my life.
What are you looking forward to in the future with Mark? Children perhaps?
These are big questions… not that I am afraid of them! Mark and I have a happy and beautiful life together and seems selfish to not share it with others so yes, children would be a blessing. Having a fun filled and loving life and sharing it with our family and friends is always a must. But I’m just looking forward to sharing new and adventurous experiences with Mark… travelling around the world, adventure sports, continued learning, and exploring all we can. I just can’t wait to share my life with this man and I want to give him the best.
We also saw in the video that your engagement ring has a special engraving, can you tell us more about that?
Well Mark and my mother had many conversations about the rings for months. My grandfather, my mother’s father, rest his soul, was a skilled jeweller. His ability to create and design, and work with his hands is what saved him during the Shoah - or the Holocaust. He developed a distinct skill for his hand-made jewellery. If he were alive today, he would have made the rings himself. Years ago, when we both were speaking in Berlin at the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the camps, my grandfather and I decided to go for a walk around town. We sat at a coffee shop, when he leaned in to me and said, "It does not matter who you love. It does matter that you love truly and fully, and that you are loved truly and fully in return."
The proposal date was on his birthday, so in a way he was there with us on the special day. And, the rings my mother made in Israel were made the way my grandfather would have made them. The words on the rings are of the ancient Hebrew expression of love, “I am unto my beloved and my beloved is unto me.”
Re-live Yuval's beautifully moving reaction to Mark's proposal below:
You can follow Yuval on Twitter @YuvalDavid and Instagram.
More stories:You need to see the incredible pole-dancing winner of Belgium's Got TalentVictoria Beckham reportedly agrees to new Spice Girls reunion - but there’s a catch