A video posted yesterday has become viral on Youtube.
On it a young gay man who lost his committed partner of 6 years accounts how his partner died in an accident this time last year and the horrific details of how the deceased lover's homophobic family acted afterwards.
When the lover went home for Christmas to come out to his family, the reaction was less than stellar. The mother asked why he hadn't told them sooner...so they can get him medical help. The father took it worse. He threatened him with a gun and became violent. The boyfriend had to flee his home in terror.
Then last year, May 7th 2011, he died and the bitch mother flew to California to collect his body and his belongings. She did not regard his partner for 6 years. Did not take his feelings into consideration at all. She just took all his stuff and left it up to him to arrange for his body to be transported back to Indiana.
Well, naturally, the partner wanted to attend the funeral in Indiana to pay his respects and say goodbye. He flew out but during his layover he got a call from a family member and they told him to not show up. Basically the father and an uncle had planned to physically assault him if he showed up. During the service they completely cut out the last 6 years of his life, as if it never happened.
Oh, and the two of them bought a house together and started a company together. They had a fucking LIFE together and because they had no LEGAL bond in the eyes of our FUCKED UP government, the partner had no claim on ANYTHING he shared with the love of his life.
This happened to me and my partner in the early 1990s. We thought that we had done all the right things, but basically I was told that there wasn't enough precedent in the law; so, to be safe, the hospital, funeral home, etc. sided with the family. While my partner and his family was Jewish, they got free legal assistance from a conservative christian group. To this day, I have no idea where he is buried.
Wow, they really were a beautiful couple. I almost broke down when the video got to the funeral part. So fucked up.
How can people be so hateful and cruel?
How can we shame these people for acting so horribly?
I just watched it at GREG IN HOLLYWOOD. I thought the music was too treacly, but the message was incredibly powerful. My heart aches for him.
His "inlaws" need to be taken out back and shot, the fuckers.
Crazy how people could be so ignorant. I hope that because of this video, this family gets harassed non-stop for being the hateful douchebags they are.
That wasn't harrowing...is was self-serving and superficial. But please, OP (who probably uploaded the video on YouTube), bask in the attention for a bit. I found that video unbelievably cloying / nauseating / insincere. The crocodile tears were more Drew Barrymore than Meryl Streep.
So much for empathy. I'll bet you have lots of friends!
[quote] I found that video unbelievably cloying / nauseating / insincere.
I find you to be a total jackass who deserves nothing more in life than a swift kick in the head.
r7 = only "life partner" has been Mr. Wigglebottom.
They are very committed to each other...
Mom's a cunt and he should broadcast the families name over the internet.
Yes, the dead man's family is terrible. And should be publicly shamed and vilified.
But there is another lesson here: they lived in California, a state with one of the strongest domestic partnership laws in the country. If they'd registered as domestic partners, the coroner would have released the body to the surviving partner, not to the parents. A will would also have helped protect their interests.
Yes, discrimination is terrible and should be the main focus of this story and I'm in no way blaming the victims here. But we should be smart and protect ourselves as much as we can.
Oh get off of your high horses. I went to watch that video with an open mind. Instead of gaining insight into the partner who died, and the nature of his 6 years of love and devotion, I saw a self-serving cry for attention.
That video...the linked Memorial Page...the living half of the partnership is all about himself, his feelings, him him him him. Look at pictures from the memorial service (which featured people reading the living partner's works...before he gave a eulogy).
It's tragic that the partner died. It's tragic that his lover was left heartbroken. It's tragic that the family went out of their way to be assholes. But it's also tragic that someone's death is being milked for self-serving reasons. Will that video guilt the family into traveling back in time and allowing Shane to attend the funeral? Will it bring back Tom? What relationship is there for Shane and Tom's family to maintain? They were nothing to each other.
Sorry I don't believe in wallowing in grief. There comes a point when you have to move it along, toots.
Fuck you, R13. Fuck you straight to hell you complete asshole.
May 15th, 2011 at 4:20 pm
He was a great person I am so saddened by the loss. He was living out his dream and keeping his family in his heart n life as he kept going toward his dream. Martha is a dear friend she taught him to smile and say yes you can be what you want to be. Tommy was always smiling and if he seen me he always came over and said Hi. God bless him and hold his family members in your loving arms Dear Jesus. I pray this to you oh LORD amen.
May 19th, 2011 at 10:36 pm
This was such a tragic loss and my sympathy goes out to the Bridegroom family and to Tommy’s Life Partner, Shane Bitney Crone.
R13, you must be incredibly closed off from your emotions. Unclear, illogical arguments such as your are characteristic of people who live from the neck up.
A self serving cry for attention? First, he's still grieving - part of this video is an expression of his grief. Second, the non-selfish purpose is obvious - to support legal protection for gay relationships. Emotional appeals have always been pivotal in changing people's minds. Third, the video serves the purpose of exposing and shaming bigots the their hideous behavior. The Bridegroom family now has to face their neighbors - their son outed, and their ugliness apparent on YouTube.
This video is colored by grief because the *29 year old* has not moved on. It's only a year later, and the relationship was 6 years.
Basically, you are really a cold hearted idiot.
Good work, r15.
Closure is a myth. We never get over things like this. We learn to live with them, but they're never forgotten. Even if Shane finds another life partner, even if he lives to be 100, I can almost promise that there won't be a day where he doesn't think about Tom Bridegroom.
R1, try this website to find your partner's grave.
Very sad. But how exactly did he die? I understand he fell off a roof???
He fell off a 4th floor balcony while photographing a model.
Oh jeez. Horrible. I wish they had said that in the video. (It left open the possibility of too much drinking at a party or something...)
(not that that would have made all the anti-gay stuff his family did more understandable.)
The video was a bit self-serving, anachronistic and in need of editing; however, it was still effective.
I guess I'm not surprised to see even someone like this poor grieving man - one of our own - is met with pointless cuntery (well this is DL) - R26 what exactly is anachronistic about this video - was he wearing a full suit of armor that I missed? was it on betamax?
If all this is true, it's heartbreaking. I do note that there's a Facebook post out there from a month before the death where the mom commented on a post of a video containing her son's boyfriend. (It wasn't a negative comment, leading me to believe she didn't hate her son-in-law.) So perhaps she was a little more accepting than her husband was.
The video is mawkish and self-indulgent but the story is still just flat-out horrible and worth telling. Tom's family should feel a burning shame every day for the rest of their lives.
Thanks for the reality check, R12. If they didn't avail themselves of the legal options available to them, then the death and the family's reaction are no less tragic, but the latter was, in fact, avoidable.
[quote]He fell off a 4th floor balcony while photographing a model.
So I guess he was shooting away backing up and got to close to the edge. You'd think the model would have noticed and warned him.
I can't help but think that anyone who sees the vidoe or memorial page as "self-serving" has not lost a loved one. Even if they have, who's to say everyone grieves in the same way. I say this as a confirmed asshole who usually shits on internet sentimentality.
I thought that the editing of the video very much implied that Tom had committed suicide by jumping off the roof as a result of having been rejected by his family during Christmas. Was I alone in that impression?
No, I thought that too, R33.
I agree with the others that the video is mawkish and self-serving. Obviously intended to pull at our heartstrings. But it IS a tragic story and one that needs to be told. I just wish it had been told better with less emphasis on the surviving partner and his tears.
Shane, I hope you find some comfort soon. Thank-you for sharing your heart-wrenching story. It touched my heart. ♥
Has Shane explained why they didn't register as domestic partners since California has domestic partner laws? They were so young they may have thought they would get around to it eventually.
Not that it's going to bring his partner back, but it would have made things easier on Shane.
It's certainly an object lesson in being prepared by protecting your partner in your will and your living will, and availing yourself of any available legal resources.
It's a sad story.
People who grieve in silence or with "stiff upper lips" scare me.
This isn't Victorian England. It's not healthy to keep tremendous pain to yourself.
What really gets me is how the mother completely unacknowledged the partner as a human being. Like the life her son and he shared was absolutely meaningless simply because they were gay. I'm sure if he lied and said he was just his roommate, the family would have shown him more dignity than him being his LIFE PARTNER. So strange....
I agree with R37 that it's not healthy for most people to keep tremendous pain to themselves; however, I don't think I could express the sort of raw grief that this guy was showing in a video that would be posted to YouTube.
I could express that kind of emotion with friends, family, grief counselor, or whomever I needed to help me through the grieving process but I'm too private to post something like that in public.
But I'm not judging--more power to him if it helps him and it's certainly a cautionary tale that needs to be heard.
If/when you get a significant other in your life and you decide that it's really serious...get every legal protection that your state can possibly allow to ensure something like this never happens to you.
Even if you live in a state like North Carolina, you can still get wills made that make sure that your partner handles all your affairs if you pass.
Agree with R40. Also, along with your wills, each of you should have your attorney draw up Five Wishes (or living wills and a health care power of attorney in the states that do not recognize Five Wishes) and copies of those documents should be in your medical charts, with your lawyers and in the possession of both individuals involved. Those documents give your partner far more power and make it difficult for a parent to do what was done in this case.
This is not only true for same-sex couples, it also applies to partners who are not legally married.
Beautifully done. Sad beyond words. I'm living with the love of my life; we share bank accounts and my partner's will is done and organized, but mine's not. It's on one of those "to do" lists. I needed a reminder. Nobody likes to think of shitty things happening, but they do & I think part of that video was a reminder that we don't know what tomorrow will bring.
I cannot believe just how wrong this is!! OP is right this has to fucking stop!!
I really wish the mother at least would put out some sort of statement. But she seems like a dyed in the wool coward so that will probably never happen. I just hope, somehow someway she gets to see that video and the damage that she has caused.
They probably didn't want the AIDS. Or to have the cops following the meth head back to Indiana.
The mother has taken down her Facebook page. Tom Bridegrooms sister still has her page up though.
What the fuck is wrong with Indiana? First the Jacksons, then Ryan White now this?
Thank God for my family. I can't imagine having creatures like that being related to me. Damn.
somebody published the parents' names and address on the youtube page. I'm sure they've had an earfull by now.
Somebody also posted the parents names address and phone number on the Equal Rights Equal Love page.
Instead of running and hiding, wouldn't it be cool if the mother actually came out and said that she was ashamed of her actions last year and would like to personally apologize to Shane for being so terrible and unfair to him?
Yeah....guess that's not gonna happen...
Well, Gandhi beat his wife and apologized for it later, so people can change and grow. Maybe there is hope for Mrd. Bridegroom one day.
What absoulte cowardly, small minded , insecure people the parents are.Such a sad story but hope exposing the truth really does change things for the future. All the best Shane.
OP? It's no longer the 1970s. Nobody uses the term "lover" today.
There is a documentary about this story premiering at Tribeca this year I believe.
Remember Lamba Legal whenever you have money for charity. They help a lot with this sort of thing.
I wonder what the mother has to say now that so much attention has been brought to this.