Though the two men had been in a relationship for six years, exchanged promise rings, shared a mortgage and a dog, Shane and his partner Tom weren’t accepted by Tom’s parents. In fact, Tom was threatened with a gun after telling his father he was gay. Even worse, they weren’t accepted by the government. After Tom’s death, Shane was forced to stay away from the funeral by Tom’s parents, denied access to any information from the hospital and considered legally insignificant by the government. They were simply “roommates.”
On the year anniversary of Tom’s death, Shane made a video called “It Could Happen to You,” describing the relationship the two had and warning other’s to speak up for marriage equality before they go through what Shane had to.
“I just don’t know if people will listen,” Shane said. “I guess no one will if I don’t talk.”
The video received over 3.4 million views and has since been translated into over 20 different languages.
Linda Bloodworth-Thomason saw the raw emotion in the video and decided to direct the documentary Bridegroom to emphasize how important legal protection is for the LGBT community.
With support from people like Brad and George Takei and Neil Patrick Harris, the film obtained contributions from over 6,500 people on Kickstarter and was successfully funded on July 19, 2012. In fact, it became “the most funded documentary in the history of crowd funding.” The documentary is set to be released this fall.
In the video, Shane urges everyone to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and the ones you love, regardless of your sexual orientation.
“We need to take a stand for equality and promote tolerance.”