Shane Bitney Crone on the impact of “Bridegroom”
The stupendous documentary Bridegroom premieres this Sunday, October 27 on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network at 10:00pm EST. (If you’re in the Chicago area, you can join producer and subject Shane Bitney Crone at a special Bridegroom screening and Q&A at Wrigley Field at 5:30pm.
Shane talked to GLAAD.org about the movie and the journey that led to it.
The love of Shane’s life, Tom Bridegroom, was killed in an accidental fall after six years together. Shane”s grief was compounded when Tom’s family banned him from the funeral and tried to erase all evidence of their happy life together.
On the one year anniversary of Tom’s death, a grieving Shane had had enough. He poured his feelings into a YouTube video called It Could Happen to You and it changed his life. Designing Women creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason saw it and reached out to Shane about expanding it into a full-length documentary.
Says Shane now: “Whether you are gay or straight, I hope you will see this movie, and appreciate that Tom and I were just two boys who fell in love. Nothing more, nothing less. It is not a film about revenge, or making people feel sorry for me–it’s simply another love story. I think it will inspire people to live their lives honestly, to fall in love deeply, and to fight for the rights of people who are being treated like second class citizens. Love is love. Loss is loss. At the end of the day we are all human and we all just want to be happy and treated equally. I want people to see that Tom and I loved each other very much, but because we weren’t married, his family and the government treated me as if I was merely his roommate.”
“Before Tom passed away, I never considered myself an activist. I always thought the word was very intimidating and how was little old me supposed to change the world? After Tom died, I struggled to find reasons to live. I had incredibly supportive family and friends, but none of my daily activities seemed to matter anymore. Now I have learned that by sharing my story, I can help others prevent the same thing from happening. By fighting for marriage equality, others will eventually have the legal protection that Tom and I did not. I can be a face for the struggle, a voice for those screaming for equal rights. I owe it to all of the Shanes and Toms of the world to put myself out there and to stand up for equality.”