In advance of the premiere of “Bridegroom” at Tribeca, Shane Bitney Crone shares more about his partner’s death
I’ve written a bit in the past year about the documentary Bridegroom (see trailer HERE) which grew from the heart-wrenching video It Could Happen to You that went viral on YouTube.
The film will have its world premiere next week at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.
It tells the story of Shane Bitney Crone and what happened after his partner of six years, Tom Bridegroom, was killed in an accidental fall off of a building in their Los Feliz neighborhood.
Crone’s grief was compounded by the heartless actions of Tom’s homophobic family subsequently but he was also treated with indifference by most of hospital staff when Tom was brought in.
He writes in a new Huffington Post column: “When I arrived at the emergency room, nurses refused to tell me anything and would not allow me to see him, because he and I weren’t “family.” Tom and I had been together for six years, and we had vowed to marry each other when it was legally recognized, but in the eyes of the hospital and the government, I was just a roommate. Eventually a doctor came in and said coldly, “He didn’t make it.” That was it. The love of my life, whom I had just seen that morning, was no longer alive. I was numb. My best friend fought with the stubborn nurses to let me see Tom’s body, but they all refused. Eventually a sympathetic nurse, risking her job, quietly led me into his room. His body was covered, but I could see blood around where his face was and tubes emerging from his chest. The only place I could put my hand was on his leg. I did three final taps (the couple’s secret signal for ‘I love you’) and left.’
‘It didn’t occur to me in that moment that I would never see him again.’
‘Once Tom’s mother arrived in Los Angeles, I had no control. She took his body back to Indiana, where his funeral was held, and barred me from attending. Tom’s family had threatened to hurt me if I showed my face in their town.’