Deaths | Discrimination | News

Gay Man Marks Anniversary of Longtime Boyfriend's Death with Devastating Account of What's Happened Since: VIDEO


 Shane Bitney Crone has marked the one-year anniversary of his boyfriend of six years, Tom Bridegroom, with a devastating video, It could happen to you, chronicling what happened to him after Tom's sudden death.

If there's anyone in your life who doesn't understand the familial rejection, the institutional discrimination, and the bias that gay couples face every day, here's one man's account.

Writes Shane: "It has been said that sharing personal stories is one of the most effective ways to change people's hearts and minds. This is my story and I hope you are inspired to share it with others."



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  1. Teary right now!

    Posted by: George F | May 8, 2012 9:30:02 AM

  2. And this is why we fight. And why we all need to fight.

    Posted by: Francis | May 8, 2012 9:30:43 AM

  3. And this is why we fight. And why we all need to fight.

    Posted by: Francis | May 8, 2012 9:30:44 AM

  4. This is heartbreaking and hits home on so many levels as North Carolina votes on Amendment One today. I'm so fortunate to live in Massachusetts where I am legally married to my husband. And this is why we all need to continue to fight to change this for all people.

    Posted by: BostonGRiTS | May 8, 2012 9:39:10 AM

  5. Sorry for the double post above.

    I didn't make it past three minutes without crying. I shouldn't be surprised but always am without how inhumane some people can be towards another human being, solely because that human being has a different orientation. So tragic.

    Posted by: Francis | May 8, 2012 9:39:51 AM

  6. His parents are named Martha and Norman Bridegroom. I could never chose something for which there is no evidence over my own flesh and blood. I hope their guilt will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

    Posted by: D.R.H. | May 8, 2012 9:41:19 AM

  7. Did you watch this Mary? Choosing ignorance over reality doesn't change the facts, it just causes pain. We live, we love, we ARE. No amount of pretending on your part can change that.

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | May 8, 2012 9:41:51 AM

  8. Okay. That was tragic. And if Tom's parents ever walked past me I'd spit on them. But one thing was not really answered that I wanted to know: was his death a suicide? Did he "fall" from that roof or did he jump? Was his death due to his family's violent rejection or was it an accident?

    I'd really like to know that - even if it's not the most important part of this tragedy.

    Posted by: Aedan | May 8, 2012 9:43:11 AM

  9. A tragic and grim story. Big lesson here: even without worrying about the whole marriage debate, it's important to memorialize financial arrangements on paper and incontrovertibly when you enter into something like a mortgage or a business co-ownership with someone...whether he's your friend, roommate, lover, or husband. Best wishes to Shane.

    Posted by: don | May 8, 2012 9:43:34 AM

  10. Great Video. I love that Mr. Crone placed this on youtube. Let the family try to take this down...

    Posted by: rayrayj | May 8, 2012 9:44:26 AM

  11. Did he kill himself or did he fall? I don't understand what they mean by accident? Very sad story either way. It highlights the fact that a lot of younger gays don't care about equality until something like this happens to them. By then it's too late. Very very sad story all around.

    Posted by: intristin | May 8, 2012 9:47:14 AM

  12. As I write this through tears and anger, I implore each and every one of you gay or straight to help us win equal rights, not special rights, but equal rights under the law. What happened to this man should not have been allowed to happen and should be stopped from happening to anyone else.
    to all the straight married couples out there, i want you to think what would happen if your spouses family were legally allowed to come in and do to you what this mans family did to his surviving partner.
    Stand up, make your voices heard help everyone to have the same equal rights under law.

    Posted by: Donald Whoolery | May 8, 2012 9:47:24 AM

  13. Aedan, he later mentioned it was an accident....

    Posted by: V-8 | May 8, 2012 9:48:58 AM

  14. It's called love. Just pure and simple - love. And there's never been anything wrong about that.

    Posted by: Bobby | May 8, 2012 9:49:24 AM

  15. Aedan, your desire of spitting on Tom's faces is exactly the action we need to avoid. Violence and rejection is not the tool to erradicate ignorance but education and communication. If the other party doesn't want to listen our calm reasoning then there's no other thing but let them go with their hate and stand in our grounds.

    Posted by: Beto | May 8, 2012 9:49:34 AM

  16. His death was an accident. He was taking photos of a friend/model on a roof and fell.

    Also, the California legislature, despite the existence of Prop 8, has bent over backwards to ensure that all of the rights of marriage are conveyed to people who register as domestic partners in CA (as well as anyone who has a legal marriage or partnership from another state). These legal protections actually exist in many states from Nevada (yes, Nevada) to Delaware. While the fight for full equality goes on, please avail yourself of all of the legal protections available to you in your home state.

    Posted by: Scott | May 8, 2012 9:53:37 AM

  17. This is truly sad.

    Tom's family, in my opinion should be named and shamed on a global scale.

    Posted by: James Troia | May 8, 2012 9:53:37 AM

  18. It saddens me to see your country continue to have to fight such ugly prejudice. Canada is by no means a perfect country but I do sleep well at night knowing that my rights are the same as every other person here. It is stories like this that need to be told so that all Americans can see the real faces of this terrible injustice.

    Posted by: jamesintoronto | May 8, 2012 9:54:25 AM

  19. Um, hello. California has a VERY strong domestic partnership law in place. If this were straight couple and the parents hated the surviving partner the same thing could have happened. They chose not to avail themselves of the protections in place and they suffered the consequences. I am a gay man married to my partner of 12 years for the last 9. We got married in Canada as soon as it was made legal there so obviously I am pro marriage equality. However, this story really is a lesson in something other than the one they are trying to teach.

    Posted by: Jonathan | May 8, 2012 10:02:14 AM

  20. It shocked me... Almost the same thing happened to me 6 years ago with my boyfriend. I could only keep a coat of his I could hide. And lost everything else we've achieved together. Our business, our place... His family wouldn't let me go to the funeral services. I lost everything I had from one day to the other. That's why I fought as fiercly as I could for equal marriage, here in Argentina. And we did it! Use that anger (anger is light... how do you translate "FURIA"?) to let this never to happen again. I guess Tom and Ariel would have wanted it. And if you're in a commited relation and cannot get married, please make a will.

    Posted by: Juan Cruz | May 8, 2012 10:03:21 AM

  21. I feel deeply moved and inspired, thank you for sharing your story

    Posted by: sully | May 8, 2012 10:06:26 AM

  22. God gives to each of us that which we have earned.

    Shane was given the best of Tom's short life: his love, his joy, his sexuality, his truth, his freedom.

    His parents, who wanted to kill Tom's love and happiness got what they earned, a dead son's body and some money.

    Remember Shane you and your family gave Tom that which his family could not. If not for you, his life would never have been so rich and full of joy.

    Posted by: Joey | May 8, 2012 10:11:28 AM

  23. According to Wikipedia Tom was photographing a model and fell off the edge. It was not suicide. So tragic.

    Posted by: Ken | May 8, 2012 10:17:56 AM

  24. Words cannot express how moving and heartbreaking this video is. Everyone, gay, straight, transgender, or otherwise needs to stand together to make a difference, to say that this is not okay. I hope his family sees this video and, along with their guilt, feels great remorse for their actions and a desire to change.

    Posted by: Joe E-D | May 8, 2012 10:19:50 AM

  25. My God, that's heartbreaking.. Made me cry! This message is so important, and even though these things may feel uncomfortable, they really need to be done..

    Posted by: Martin | May 8, 2012 10:24:26 AM

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