Shane Bitney Crone on how Bridegroom documentary is helping him heal after death of his partner

'It's good that something so tragic led to something that's positive'

Shane Bitney Crone on how Bridegroom documentary is helping him heal after death of his partner
15 May 2013

The documentary Bridegroom 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 Angeles neighborhood.

Crone shared with Gay Star News in a recent interview how his life has taken unexpected turns since he made a YouTube video about how his grief was compounded by the heartless actions of Tom’s homophobic family.

The video, called It Could Happen to You, went viral and led to the documentary directed by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason who created the classic sitcom Designing Women. The $300,000 needed to make the film was quickly reached as it became the highest funded film in the history of

Bridegroom had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last month where it was introduced by former President Bill Clinton and won the coveted Audience Award.

‘To go from the YouTube video to honor my partner and to educate people to a documentary is all kinds of surreal,’ Crone tells GSN. ‘The film is something that I’m very proud of and I think that Tom would be proud of it too.’

The film shines a light on how a lack of marital rights can compound the grief of a surviving spouse when the other one dies. Not only was Crone shunned by Bridegroom’s family and banned from the funeral, he was also treated with indifference by most of hospital staff.

Working on the documentary has been therapeutic.

‘Since I posted the YouTube video, for the past year I’ve been working on the documentary. It’s hard you know. It just depends on the day. This has definitely been like a healing process for me and it’s good that something so tragic led to something that’s positive.’

Sadly, the film has not let to any kind of relationship with Bridegroom’s family. During his life, the family had cast Bridegroom out, called him a sinner and blamed Crone for his homosexuality.

‘I haven’t heard from them,’ Crone says. ‘We reached out to them – I wanted them to be in the film and we just never heard from them.’

Crone has nothing but praise for Bloodworth-Thomason who had met the couple at another wedding while Bridegroom was still alive.

After seeing the YouTube video, she called Crone and proposed making the documentary.

‘The minute that I met her and we were talking about the film, we had the same vision,’ Crone says. ‘She’s just a brilliant storyteller and I don’t think there could have been a better person to tell our story. She convinced me that this was a story that needed to be told. I know that what happened to me has happened to hundreds of thousands of people before. She just felt that this was the time to tell it.’

The death of his partner and the aftermath has turned Crone into more of an LGBT activist than he ever thought he would be.

‘Tom and I had started a music PR company but since the YouTube video, my life has turned into activism and it’s so much more meaningful to me,’ he says. ‘I don’t know what will happen after (the film festival circuit) but I do know that I’m going to do whatever I can to support this movement until marriage is possible for everyone.’



Only 1.5% of Brits are gay or bisexual

Only 1.5% of Brits are gay or bisexual

New experimental figures published by the Office for National Statistics are far lower than the expected figures of 6-10%
No thumbnail available

Russian film banned as gay 'propaganda' to kids despite being an 18

A Russian film has been rejected from a major festival over gay propaganda laws in Russia
No thumbnail available

Gay dad’s response to church refusing to baptize his son will amaze you

Father’s letter is a lesson in tolerance for us all
No thumbnail available

Eat like Italian. The new gay diet?

Want to get lean and strong? It’s time to embrace all things Italian.
No thumbnail available

Anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera arrested in Canada

Americans For Truth About Homosexuality president Peter LaBarbera has been arrested along with a Canadian anti-gay activist after they refused to leave a university where they were staging a protest
No thumbnail available

Gaga, Dancing With The Stars and Smash honored at GLAAD media awards

LGBT stars and straight allies descend on New York for first of three-part ceremony
No thumbnail available

Federal judge announces plans to strike down Ohio's gay marriage ban

Ruling in case involving birth certificates of children will recognize same-sex marriages from other states
No thumbnail available

The six ways gay marriage in England and Wales isn’t quite ‘equal’

LGBT rights campaigners are reminding those celebrating the same-sex marriage bill there is a lot more work to do to achieve full marriage equality
No thumbnail available

Muslim leader says intersex hijras deserve equal rights

Faiz Syed clarifies video to offer supportive comments on intersex people in India, calling them ‘Allah’s creation’
No thumbnail available

What sort of porn would Brits miss the most?

UK consumers of pornography clearly enjoy their S&M – prompting the government to introduce new regulations for video-on-demand material