My good friend Kim shared with me this video, which she shared from another on Facebook. It needs to go viral. It is the very personal story of two young men in love, who want to marry one day. Tom gave Shane a promise ring for Christmas two years ago, a promise that they would marry when it would be legally recognized. Growing up in Montana and Indiana, this wasn’t going to happen in their home states in this century. This video story is told by Shane of his love, Tom.
Now, watch the video. The video length is 10:39.
It Could Happen To You
Neither of these guys crossed my radar before today. I never saw “The X-Effect” which Tom was in, or any of the TV programs Shane has been in or involved. With great grief and sorrow Shane has put together this video within the year of Tom’s passing, May 7, 2011; he posted this video on YouTube a couple of days ago, the day before the one year anniversary of Tom’s death. Know this: Tom’s death was a freak accident, he did not take his life. I point that out because it may be easy for one to assume this with all of the LGBT bullying / suicides. Tom was happy, in love, and successful in his work. A freak accident took his life.
Thank you Shane for sharing your’s and Tom’s story. It is a beautiful tribute to his life, at the same time a real lesson for so many in the world who don’t have the legal protections that every loving couple should have the opportunity.
Jimmy and I have paid to do all of the paperwork of what a federally recognized marriage provides. We have wills. Our wedding, still unrecognized, was in Philadelphia in December 1997. After moving to New Jersey we have had a Domestic Partnership, then upgraded to a Civil Union. We are now married in the state of Connecticut, and any gay-marriage-friendly state chooses to recognize that marriage; downgraded back to Civil Union when we re-enter New Jersey. We are covered — we hope and believe. But we don’t live in the center of the country, or in the south; it is easier for us.
This video is an extremely good wake up call to you gay and lesbian couples who have no legal recognition — so you damn best get legal paperwork drawn up in case of such a sad event, tragedy. As Shane pointed out in the video, “Losing a loved one is devastating enough, but to then be rendered legally insignificant only makes the pain worse”.
Shane: I listened. Thank for talking. RIP Tom. #EqualLoveEqualRights
Tom Bridegroom with Coleen McMahon “The Christmas Song”
Katy Perry – Firework (cover + lyrics)