A few years ago I was contacted on MySpace by a young singer who lived in L.A His music was fabulous & he was beautiful. I was sure he would go far as he was really talented. We networked a little & shared each others postings etc & like with lots of others whom I had a reciprocal social media connection. His name was Tom Bridegroom. Not a very common name, not so forgettable.I saw a link to a video, I think it was last year. It was a heartfelt plea by a young guy called Shane Bitney Crone. He was sharing his experiences of losing his partner who had fallen from a roof during a photo shoot. He had live with him for over 6 yrs, shared a home, a life & a business & a dog. The video was called "It could happen to you" & like any feeling human being gay or straight, watching him share moved me to tears & beyond.
Because they had no rights under the law as a gay couple Shane was initially given no rights at the hospital regarding the man he loved & shared his life with. Imagine not only had he lost the love of his life but had no rights in that situation to respond to his life partners final needs. During the video I found his name was Tom, Tom Bridegroom. It came to me in a split second that this was the charming young guy from MySpace with the beautiful voice.
Shane's nightmare didn't end there & was excluded from any final arrangements or even attending the funeral. Threats were received from Tom's family with explicit instructions not to attend. All of these basic rights would have been afforded to Shane if his partner happened to be female, but there was no protection or rights under the law for him in this situation.
Today I watched Bridegroom Movie & was moved by the way that although this had been a hellish experience for Shane, there was no hate for those who had perpetrated his torturous experience. The fact that in sharing this experience, which I am convinced is to effect change & growth has to show great big gap gaps in the level of equality in this country.
I challenge anyone to watch this movie & not me moved by the the sheer humanity of this experience. Those who take issue with gay rights really need to search their souls & ask themselves why. Shane is someone's brother, someone's son, someone's friend & so was Tom & for everyone to not see the need change after watching this movie would leave me aghast.
Gay people are not looking for rights over & above those of every other American, just the same & to deny that out of some moralistic sense, or religious ideology is astounding. The message of Jesus Christ was to love one another. There was no exception given, not except if they happen to be gay. Whatever you think about sexuality, put that aside & see the love, as love has everything to do with it. Parents, love your children for who they are not who they love. Love is louder!
Rest In Peace Tom Bridegroom , You were a beautiful & talented individual gone too soon. May your passing teach us love one another more & exercise a greater glimpse into humanity. You light up the sky x
There is no freedom till we are all equal!
Love & Peace, Xander.
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Xander Gibb has written for many publications and writes with an unapologetic response to the world around.