Shane Bitney Crone Discusses His Work Honoring Late Boyfriend Tom Bridegroom


I’ve been a bit out of the loop this week, so I just this morning saw Andy’s post about Shane Bitney Crone and the video about his boyfriend Tom Bridegroom’s death.

An untimely death of a young man is of course a lamentable situation, but this particular story touched me not only for the fact that Crone is using the tragedy to fight for equal rights, but also because I went to college with Tom Bridegroom.

He was one year under me and we became friends through his roommate, Anthony. Tommy was a unique, intriguing and sensational guy and watching Crone’s video celebrating him made me realize that Bridegroom’s death, so senseless and confusing at the time, was not in vain.

Crone recently sat down with the team from OutCast to discuss Tom and their relationship, including why they waited to marry, Tom’s family’s reaction to their relationship and how he’s dedicated to honoring his late boyfriend’s life. He also clarifies his motivations for making the initial video: “I did not make this video to attack his family … I hope that instead of getting angry about the video, they change.”

You can download the OutCast podcast at iTunes, and I hope you do.


  1. says

    I keep checking back with Shane’s YouTube site. The vast majority of the comments are loving and supportive, but there are many, too many, that are so incredibly hateful, ignorant and at times even violent. It’s a bitter reminder that our opponents are both implacable and stunningly willfully ignorant and that we all have a tremendous amount of work to do. With President Obama’s declaration yesterday, the lines seem to be drawn, not just between the right and the left, but between those moving very swiftly to make this country a theocracy and thinking people who want to preserve freedom. It’s that stark. And I fear that it’s going to get very ugly before we finally arrive at November.

  2. John Mclaren says

    I don’t live in CA and perhaps because of the passage of Prop 8 marriage was not an option for Tom & Shane. They had a mortgage together and operated a business. Could they have entered into a Domestic Partner agreement in California that would have afforded them rights to hospital visits, medical decisions and similar protections which would have superseded Tom’s family decision on where he was to be buried and other legal matter?

  3. SamIAm says

    Of course they could have. In fact, it bewilders me you’d buy a house with someone and not make those kinds of arrangements. But hey, they were young. It’s an important lesson (beyond the obvious one that denying gays these rights through marriage is wrong) for everyone. Even for those who can and choose not to get married. Get a lawyer to get a will and make sure you walk through these issues. I suppose when you’re young, you don’t think about tragedy. It’s sad.

  4. TJ says

    Once again, YES, there were protections they could and should have availed themselves of. YES, it is a cautionary tale. But had they been a straight couple, they could have taken a weekend trip to Vegas, gotten married at a quickie chapel, and BOOM. Protected and respected throughout the land. No lawyers, no wills. Legal spouses have automatic legal protections and supremacy in legal relationships.

  5. says

    It’s a sad reality and should be seen as a wake-up-call and not an attack. At some point the tide will turn completely – you won’t be an outcast for being gay or for having a gay family member: you’ll be an outcast for the negative way in which you treat your gay family member.

    In light of the media attention to LGBT suicides of recent years, some folks seem to think gay suicides are a new thing. They’re not. It’s just that for too long the families ended up burying their kids in the closets they never wanted to be in in the first place.

  6. heather johnson says

    I am from tom’s home town and my friends and i have decided that we want to have a memorial to celebrate tom’s life and love and i really want to welcome Shane to come but i cant figure out how to reach him

  7. Jim says

    Sad to say, that this fact of young gay suicide is not new. It happened in my former hometown over 40 years ago. Two of my brother’s friends, later to learn suspected ‘lovers’, and then a third friend whom either discovered the event or immediately afterwards decided to also ‘opt-out’. All younger than 19. It was never discussed for years, as a matter of fact, my brother still can not openly discuss it to this day and he’s approaching 60 years of age.
    Yes, a cautionary tale, but, all too true. We need to take youth suicide as a very serious matter. FYI I’ve been out for near 40 years, myself.

  8. Mark says

    Shane, I wish I was there to hold you and try to erase your sorrows. I used to watch Tom on X- Effect, he was so much fun. I am not normally vicious and do favors for anyone that comes along. May the bigoted brainwashed Christian Fundamentalist parents, family, and their Aryan Nation closet case pastors all rot in hell. They didn’t even to have to agree with Tom’s lifestyle but to treat him in a violent manner and deny you any closure?

    As a mentor to many partnered and single gay people; at once please get a durable power of attorney for medical care, an ironclad will, a general power of attorney, accounts that clearly go to the other upon death, homes and businesses that read clearly that the survivor is the only successor (or who you want to be if single). I have seen this same situation played out over 10 times already and am beyond sick over it. I offered to prepare the legal papers for them for free as I am expert at it. Please take my advice.

  9. L Celestine says

    Just so everyone knows, Shane is currently working on a documentary telling his story, dedicated to his beloved Tom.
    To support this effort please go to:

    BRIDEGROOM An American Love Story


  10. Rita says

    What a beautiful man with a beautiful story. I hope he honors his late partners memory by becoming an honorable activist for LGBT who don’t have a voice.
    He certainly has the courage to do so!

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