An American gay man’s moving marriage equality video about the tragic death of his boyfriend and the traumatic events that followed has become an internet sensation.
Shane Bitney Crone produced the 10-minute film It Could Happen to You, which recounts his six year relationship with Tom Bridegroom, and posted it on the anniversary of Bridegroom’s death on May 7.
“It has been said that sharing personal stories is one of the most effective ways to change people’s hearts and minds. This is my story and I hope you are inspired to share it with others,” Crone wrote in the YouTube description of the video.
The two men planned to get married when it became legal but, following Bridegroom’s accidental death, Crone was rejected and threatened with violence by Bridegroom’s family and was left with no rights to his partner’s estate and body.
According to the government, he says, the couple were nothing more than “mere roommates”.
“I can’t just stand back any more,” an emotional Crone says in the video. “Maybe that’s why this all happened. I just don’t know if people will listen… I guess no one will listen if I don’t talk – so I’m talking.”
Crone was only able to say his final goodbye to his boyfriend by sneaking into his hometown to visit his grave.
“I did not make this video to attack his family… I hope that instead of getting angry about the video, they change,” Crone told OutCast.
He added: “I hope that people watch this. They can look at Tom, they can look at me… we are just two human beings who wanted to love each other. What’s so wrong with that?”
The video has been viewed over 1.8 million times. Watch it below.