Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom
I talked with Shane Bitney Crone about his documentary Bridegroom: An American Love Story, which is currently in development. It all started this past spring, when Shane posted a video on YouTube, entitled "It Could Happen to You," about the accidental death of his life partner Tom Bridegroom and what happened in the aftermath due to the fact that they weren't married, even though marriage was their dream. (Shane and Tom were never able to marry because it was and is illegal in California. When Tom died, his anti-gay parents brought his body back to Indiana for burial and barred Shane from attending his funeral.) Shane's video went viral, with over 2.7 million views, and more than 50,000 people posted comments.
Producers Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (Designing Women, The Man From Hope) and Linda Burstyn (Emmy-winning writer and producer for Nightline with Ted Koppel) have signed on to make a feature-length documentary about Shane and Tom's story. Bridegroom is more than a tragic love story. This film will represent every single person who has ever been ostracized and condemned for being who they are and loving whom they love. This documentary will provide a rare and powerful opportunity to open people's hearts and minds on this very important human-rights issue. Their ambitious goal is to have Bridegroom completed and in theaters by the election. As Shane said, "We can't change the past, but with your help we can create a more equal future."
When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights, Shane stated:
I'm completely committed to this. I never really saw this happening for my future. I didn't see myself being like an activist, but after losing Tom, it just really opened my eyes, and it inspired me to do whatever I can to help the LGBT community. Right now, how I can help is by sharing my story. I want to do whatever I can, and if by sharing my story is what helps bring equality to everyone sooner, then that's what I'm going to do.
To learn more about Bridegroom: An American Love Story, visit the Kickstarter page.
Listen to more interviews with LGBTQ leaders, allies, and celebrities at OUTTAKE VOICES™.
Download interviews on iTunes.