WATCH: Gay Man Tells Poignant Story Of Losing Boyfriend, Noting Lack Of Rights For Gay Couples

With the downright-tragic passage of Amendment One in North Carolina, this story of a tragic gay romance is going viral. It tells the story of Shane Bitney Crone (the filmmaker) and Tom Bridegroom, a gay couple torn apart at the seams by Tom’s homophobic family, the lack of marriage laws and the nagging insecurities that bite at all LGBT people.

We won’t give away the ending, but damn is it a tearjerker. If this doesn’t shake you to agitate for marriage equality—and the rights for gay couples to be considered by the government as more than “mere roommates,” as Shane puts it, in both life and death—we really don’t know what will.

The least you can do is to pass Shane’s video and hashtag on, and to make this go as viral as possible. Do it! #EqualLoveEqualRights.

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  • Alex

    This is a sad story. Since they lived in California, couldn’t they have registered under California’s domestic partnership/civil union law? Also, neither had wills and they didn’t create any legal documents to protect themselves.

  • Kev C

    That makes me angry as it does sad. Hulk smash puny bigots!

  • HP

    This story made me really weepy …
    But it tells more then just a lack of equality. Anything can happen to anyone at anytime. Live you life to the fullest!
    And use the laws that are available > write a will, use a civil union. It might not be a real marriage – but it gives some protection.

    My heart goes to Steve … may you shattered one heal, so you might love again. Something Tom would have wanted.

  • Gary

    When people are this bigoted and homophobic did he really think he was going to be mentioned in the funeral stuff??

  • cam

    The bigots that claim they don’t hate gays are liars.

    This kid was threatened with attacks if he went to the funeral. This isn’t about preserving marriage or anything else.

    It’s about the fact that bigots hate others who are different than them and will hurt them however they can. End of story.

    That amendment in North Carolina wasn’t to support straight marriage. They already had a law that did that. But this also outlaws not only ANY civil unions, domestic partnerships, etc… but also made it illegal for simple things like putting your partner on your medical insurance. Again, that wasn’t about marriage it was about attacking and hating the group that they are bigoted against. The South being true to it’s history.

  • pedro

    The very same thing could have happened if they were straight and living together for six years…I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but if they were so inlove, why didn’t they take a day off to register as domestic partners in California? No they wouldn’t have all the federal benefits of heterosexual marriage, but they would have some legal protections against evil family members…Secondly, and again, not to sound too insensitive, how does a sober, mentally well young man just fall off a roof…Something just doesn’t add up here…Still, the mom is a bitch and I hope she burns in hell. I have staunchly Catholic parents, but I know my mother would never act this cruelly.

  • ChrisC

    @pedro: He was photographing a model (he was a photographer) and he took a step back to far and fell of the roof.

  • Mighty

    This makes me angry. I want so much to lash out at the bigots. I’m tired of always being on the receiving end of bullying and bigoted families who can’t just show a small amount of kindness. Just once I wish we had some real power. Power to make the bigots pay for the pain they inflict upon us.

  • Brady

    @Pedro and others. True, they could’ve and should’ve written wills. This is a devastating story of a tragedy and a cruel family along with a couple that, like most couples, never thought this type of thing would happen. Im in HR, and in the last 5 years, my company has had 3 employees pass away. Only one of them had life insurance (even though we offer it at very very low rates), and the 2 that didn’t have coverage had underage children that needed the money to take care of them. Unfortunately, most people, especially in that age bracket, don’t consider what might happen.

    The lesson I took from this was both that we need to continue to fight for marriage, and that my husband and I have to put together wills ASAP.

  • Dame

    Jesus, Tom is so good-looking, it’s almost distracting to me. Like, I want to be sad and teary, but I am also a little mesmerized when Tom scene comes up.

  • cam

    @pedro: said…

    The very same thing could have happened if they were straight and living together for six years…I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but if they were so inlove, why didn’t they take a day off to register as domestic partners in California?”

    1. You are wrong, a straight couple are considered “Common Law Spouses” after a certain amount of time has passed.

    2. Yes, I guess it means they really didn’t love each other because they didn’t file for second class status rather than waiting for marriage to become legal.

  • Subhankar zac

    i dont know what to say. I torn up after watching this video. n the worst part, today NC state passed the anti-gay bill.
    Its like people are trying so hard to break n tear down a small number of people and the government is adding fuel to this fire of hate?
    U have legalized divorce, n remarriage, 2 of the despised sins in your bible. yet letting 2 people, of the same sex, get married would destroy the foundations of your society?
    Why do u have to force yourself to hate others? Why is love so threatening to you all?
    These few people who are hated by you, how often have they tried to take away your children? or tried to deny you protection? or wanting to shatter your families into pieces?
    is this how u obey your Bible which states “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”?
    This is just disgusting n frustrating to see it.
    Shame on the Government!

  • Bob

    This is an almost exact story as two friends on mine back in 1987. They were together for about 5 years when one died at the age of 24 of heart failure. His Amish family, who wanted nothing to do with him when he was alive, took everything and his partner was left with nothing but his pain. He tried to kill himself, but survived to wander off alone and eventually died in his 30’s. Both, by the way, were proud members of the U.S. Navy.

  • Codswallop

    Hindsight is 20/20, shoulda/woulda/coulda. These were two young men in their 20s and like many people in that age bracket or even later, they weren’t thinking about mortality because they were young and vital.

    So that’s maybe the biggest lesson people should take from this, that if you are in serious relationship, one in which you WOULD get married if you could, then you need to protect each other by making wills, medical proxies, registering for a Domestic Partnership or Civil Union if they are available where you live, etc.

    My only complaint with the video is that when I first I saw it I was left wondering if Tom had committed suicide after being rejected by his family. The video said he fell, but I did still wonder. I did some research after that and discovered that yes it WAS an accident, and as someone stated earlier he was taking photos of someone and stepped back too far and fell off the roof.

  • pedro

    @Codswallop: How stupid do you have to be to fall off a roof while sober and healthy…I mean seriously, taking pictures and stepped back too far? What kind of a flake just falls off a roof like that? It’s like a cartoon scenario…

  • Gus

    You prove how hateful people can be when they never get any.

  • Gus

    You prove how hateful people can be when they never get any.

  • pedro

    @Gus: I have a boyfriend, so there goes your theory…I wasn’t trying to be mean, but seriously, if you saw that scenario in a movie you’d be compelled to laugh. It’s just bazaar…

  • kev

    @pedro. it is pretty funny when people fall and die… hilarious. id be doubled over laughing if an accident happened to you.

  • LaTeesha

    Was the bit about adopting the dog supposed to somehow parallel adopting or having a child together? Because owning a pet and having a child are not analogous.

  • John

    @pedro: Cool story, Bro. You should know your hand doesn’t count.

  • Anthony


    Get to bed already. You have a spelling test tomorrow.

  • Codswallop

    Pedro, people die EVERY DAY from accidents. Just because something *could* be played for laughs in a movie, a slip and fall in the bathtub for instance, doesn’t actually make it funny in real life when someone is hurt or dies the same way, you immature ass!

    In fact that’s sort of my POINT and one of the points of the video, that even when you’re young and healthy it doesn’t mean you’re invulnerable, accidents do happen, so if you ARE in a committed relationship you should do what you can to protect each others’ interests in case of the unforeseen.

    Watch out for banana peels, dude, because it would be pure Karma if your dickishness about this were followed up by an accident of your own.

  • Larkin

    I hope those parents burn in hell. If they were truly against gay marriage because of the bible, they’d be against divorce as dictated in the bible.

    More than 90% of women would have to be stoned to death because a non-virgin should not be married and, if so, should be stoned to death per the buybullshit.

    You can’t pick and choose your versus. Utter hypocrites. Love is always a good thing.

  • Johnny

    This is such a sad story about loss, love and rights. WHY was there no will? Every adult, Gay, Straight, single, couple should have a will including a living will. A lesson to be learnt to protect us until we get full marriage equality. But keep fighting

  • Mark

    Shane – never give up on love it truly conquers all. Don’t blame yourself for anything that happened – you were grieving and people took advantage of that. You are a brave and loving soul – that is obvious from this video – fully deserving of Tom’s love, you know it, he knew it, your friends and family too. God also knows what love is and He knows right from wrong – those who dimiss love in such a violent hateful manner will have to meet their maker one day. I have been with my partner now for almost 20 years – through all sorts of ups and downs – thankfully here in UK – as in most of western Europe and many other ‘first world’ countries we can have Civil Partnerships or Gay Marriage – allowing us all those rights you were not allowed – keep fighting the good fight – your day will come. And when it does and you are ready I hope you find again that special someone to share it all with. Long live love.

  • Soupy

    I’m so happy that I am not in this position. I’ve been with my partner for 18 years. We have wills and understanding families. My parents would not have approved of it, but they died before it became an issue. But my brother and his family, I think that they like him more than me! They are wonderful.

  • Daez

    @pedro: It just is not something you think about at that age. I do not have any legal protections that protect my relationship status to my partner and he is a lawyer and draws similar documents frequently.

    It kind of opened my eyes a little bit on that regard.

    Also, we have no idea what happened on that rooftop, but my first thought was the amount of damage that having a family of bigots can do to someone.

  • Daez

    @LaTeesha: Sorry honey, but we have two kids and two dogs, and the dogs are more often a much bigger pain in the ass, but then again we have amazingly good kids.

    I would definitely say they are analogous.

  • Daez

    @Johnny: You are wrong. There is absolutely no reason for a will if you are a straight married couple with children. The law automatically credits your entire state to your husband/wife you are straight. If something should happen to your husband/wife, the law automatically divides the estate between your children.

    Actually, you are better off not having a will in this case because having a will puts your estate into probate where it is accessible to every single person you ever owed a dime to assuming they can prove you owed them. Not having a will keeps your estate out of probate and you still pass along your assets to your husband/wife and children.

  • Mcflyer54

    I took in a gay couple, both dying of AIDS, when their families abandon them. When the older of the two died his parents sent the police to my home to collect his belongings. The only thing he had left that he purchased himself was a pair of shoes. He had donated all of his personal belongs (clothing, books and a TV) to a AIDS hospice and I purchased new clothes for him (mostly sweats) because of his weigh loss. My partner and I paid for him burial when his family refused. Yet, the felt entitled to his personal belongings. When all they got was a pair of shoes they threatened to sue us – I told their lawyer I was looking forward to seeing them in court and that I thought their story was worthy of some publicity. Strange, I never herad from them again.

  • flyoverit

    @Johnny: don’t need you tellin anybody what they need freak frog faced f–got!

  • Ken S

    Sad? The story of Tom’s death is “sad.” The story of what was done in the wake of his death by his scumbag fucking parents, that isn’t “sad,” it’s a motherfucking outrage. Stories like this, I *wish* there were such a thing as Hell so that I could tell myself such people were going there. But since I don’t believe such nonsense, I just hope those vile fucks suffer immeasurable torment the rest of their miserable fucking lives.

    Fuck the Bridegroom family. Fuck ’em. No-good bigoted assholes. It’s a wonder they produced a son worth loving but I suppose flowers can grow out of even the most repulsive dung-heap.

  • Bostontom

    Shane, U Dah Man. To have the courage with what you’ve been through to make such a sensitive and touching video. My heart goes out to you my friend. May you find the peace you so richly deserve.

  • Edgar

    I’m sorry about the love of life be flight for what u believe equal rights for everyone!!!! This is very sad!!!

  • L Celestine

    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


  • Obambo


    Are you familiar with the words ‘Lost in love’, ‘Blinded by love’, ‘young lovers’, etc. as a lawyer, I can assure you: The vast majority of married couples under their 30’s do not have a will.

    I do. It was executed 35 years ago, the day before my marriage. It is deemed a ‘mirror will’, as my wife(ex), has the exact same will. Upon death, 100% of the assets transfer to the surviving spouse.

    Today? I am divorced, I am 62, I have 38 years of legal experience, two grown children, I am gay, I have had two suicide attempts and two heart attacks. I have a net worth in excess of $2.5 million. And I have no will. I DO have a complete package for a legally binding will & trust (a trust is deemed necessary for anyone whose assets exceed $650,000). My will/documents? They were written 5 years ago. Not ONE PAGE has one number or letter on it, thus I am deemed ‘Intestate’, and my estate will be distributed under the laws of CA – meaning my son & daughter will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars which a trust protects.

    Give this KID a break. Have you read the many posts which followed his? Many should be mandatory for every parent of a child entering middle school. HE LEARNED FROM HIS MISTAKES!

    More importantly, the video he produced, “Bridegroom”, aired on Sunday evening. HE SAVED MY LIFE. Period.

    ‘How does a sober, stable, fit guy fall from a roof’? Would you like me to to tell you how many YOUNG, sober, stable, fit
    accident victims or their survivors I have represented? How many had NO estate plan?

    This is ‘a teachable moment’ on multiple levels. Listen, learn, love – and please ‘do as I say, not as I do’.

    Shane, keep up your tremendous efforts. You may lose a few battles along the way, but that is a small price when you’ve won the war. Tom is so proud of you!

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