BRIDEGROOM is a documentary directed by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason that tells the emotional journey of Shane and Tom, two young men in a loving and committed relationship — a relationship that was cut tragically short by a misstep off the side of a roof. The story of what happened after this accidental death– of how people without the legal protections of marriage can find themselves completely shut out and ostracized– is poignant, enraging and opens a window onto the issue of marriage equality like no speech or lecture ever will.
On May 7, 2012, the anniversary of Tom’s death, after a year of documenting his own grief, Shane decided to make a video tribute to his partner entitled “It Could Happen To You.” This film, posted on YouTube, received over 3.4 million views and has been translated into over 20 different languages. The impact of Shane’s YouTube video and the raw nerve it touched, tells us this is an important story that needs to be told.
With the incredible support from influential people like Brad and George Takei and Neil Patrick Harris, Bridegroom was successfully funded on July 19, 2012 by over 6,500 people on Kickstarter.com becoming the most funded documentary in the history of crowd funding, and released in the fall of 2013.
Linda Bloodworth Thomason – Director, Producer, Writer and creator of the critically acclaimed television series Designing Women, Evening Shade and Hearts Afire, has written over four-hundred-and-fifty scripts for episodic television and received numerous Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. She is also the director, producer and writer of the landmark documentary The Man from Hope, and other Clinton documentaries, including the 1996 Democratic convention film, A Place Called America, and the subsequent Democratic Convention film, Legacy, as well as the introductory film for the Clinton Presidential Library and the Senator Hillary Clinton Democratic Convention film, Hillary. Bloodworth Thomason has received the Eleanor Roosevelt Freedom of Speech Award from Americans for Democratic Action, as well as the Lucy Award from Women in Film, the GLAAD Media Award, the Women’s Legal Defense Fund Annual Award and the Silver Satellite Award, the highest honor bestowed by Women in Radio and Television.
Douglas Jackson – Producer
Jackson is a former military advisor and executive assistant to Senator David Pryor. He has produced numerous television series, including Designing Women, Evening Shade and Hearts Afire. Jackson also served as a producer on the Democratic Convention films, A Place Called America and Legacy and the subsequent political documentary, The Hunting of the President.
Harry Thomason – Producer
Harry Thomason directed and co-wrote the critically acclaimed feature documentary, THE HUNTING OF THE PRESIDENT, a film nominated for the Writer’s Guild Best Documentary. He produced award winning television movies including “A Shining Season,” “To Find My Son” and the mini-series “The Blue and The Gray.”
Married to popular writer Linda Bloodworth, they formed Mozark Productions and together brought many highly successful televison series to the screen including “Designing Women,” “Evening Shade” and “Hearts Afire.”
Thomason has been nominated or won numerous awards including the Emmy (“Designing Women,” “Evening Shade”), the Directors Guild Award (“Designing Women”), the Christopher Award (“A Shining Season”) and The People’s Choice Award (“The Blue and The Gray”) Entertainment Publicists’ Guild ‘Man of the Year.’ He and Linda, longtime friends of President Clinton and Hillary, were co-chairs of the 1993 Presidential Inauguration, which he directed. It became the first Inauguration in the history of the United States to make a profit. That profit was used to help fund the 1997 Inaugural.
Allen Crowe – Producer
Allen Crowe has written for Evening Shade, Hearts Afire, For Your Love and HBO’s 12 Miles of Bad Road. His first play, Idols of the King, a musical comedy about the fans of Elvis Presley, was initially produced by the Arkansas Repertory Theatre and was the first play licensed by the Elvis estate. In 2003, he wrote and produced The Designing Women Reunion for Lifetime. In 2005, his comedic play If the Price is Right premiered as part of the Los Angeles Edgefest.
Benjy Gaither grew up in a famously musical family where his undeniable aptitude for music was nurtured and encouraged early in his childhood. The son of ASCAP’s Songwriters of the Century, Bill and Gloria Gaither, Benjy’s home environment provided a valuable training ground for him to make his own unique mark on his generation. A graduate of Anderson University, Benjy’s accomplishments are varied and numerous. Benjy’s love of music will never let him stray too far. He has produced several music projects for various artists. One of his most memorable moments as a performer was singing Carry Us On at Carnegie Hall in New York City; a song he wrote just after the World Trade Center tragedy on September 11th. An accomplished songwriter, producer and creative director, Benjy is the president of Live Bait Entertainment.
Paul Boskind, Ph.D. is the Founder and CEO of Deer Oaks – A Behavioral Health Organization, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. Deer Oaks is a nationwide provider of behavioral health services, specializing in geriatric psychology and Employee Assistance Programs (EAP.) Paul is a leading champion for Equality and LGBT issues at the national level. Not only does he generously support equality organizations financially, he serves in volunteer leadership and fundraising roles.
In 2009, Margo self released her album ‘My Heart’s Desire” on her own label, Organica Records. The album received the 2009 Muse’s Muse award for “Best Overall CD Project In Any Category”. Her music caught the attention of two-time Grammy-nominated comedian, Ron White, television mogul, Dr. Phil McGraw and five-time Grammy-nominated record producer, Michael Blakey (former president of Virgin/2k Records). Together, they have formed Organica Music Group and made Margo their first signing.
Ron “Tater Salad” White is best known as the cigar smoking, scotch drinking funnyman from the “Blue Collar Comedy” phenomenon. But with two Grammy nominations, a Gold Record, three of the top rated one-hour TV specials in Comedy Central history, a book that appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List, and CD and DVD sales of over 10 Million units, Ron has established himself as a star in his own right. Over the past 5 years he has been one of the top 3 grossing comedians on tour in the United States.
4/22/1982 – 5/7/2011
Tom was born and raised in Knox, Indiana and finished high school at the prestigious Culver Military Academy. Tom excelled at CMA, winning the Hobie Leadership award, which garnered him a trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with the president. After graduating from CMA Cum Laude, Tom enrolled in Vassar College, where he trained in voice and piano.
Although he was succeeding in his academic career at Vassar, Tom made the decision to leave school early and pursue his true calling: a career in the entertainment industry. Tom co-wrote the powerful and meaningful song, “Lost” with his friend Paige Williams, which attracted attention from the music industry, as well as writing numerous other songs with many other talented musicians, and on his own.
This passion for music lead Tom to co-found with his partner Shane a popular online music blog and his music public relations business, Bridegroom and Bitney, which was and continues to grow and gain clients.
Tom also pursued ambitions of acting and being in front of the camera. Tom gained national recognition at the age of 23 when he was chosen as the Hot Boy Next Door for the popular magazine, Teen People, for the October 2005 issue. Moving to Los Angeles, Tom’s talent and perseverance quickly got him an agent, and his acting career took off. Tom was cast in a national commercial for Nintendo and starred in an infomercial for Sensiclear. In 2007, Tom won a hosting job for MTV’s reality show, “The X-Effect.”
Tom once described himself as “a small town boy with both feet firmly planted on the ground.” The only thing small about Tom was that town he came from in Indiana. His heart was great in size, as was his ambition, passion and talent. For all that knew Tom, you know how truly blessed you were to have the honor of his incredible friendship.
Born on December 19, 1985, in Kalispell, Montana, Shane Bitney Crone grew up with the nickname “Motor Mouth.” Now that name seems even more appropriate in light of his recent YouTube video, which went viral with almost three million hits. From a young age, Shane has used his considerable voice on behalf of good causes, inspiring others through his talent and actions. In Montana, he also regularly performed at the Missoula Children’s Theater International Performing Arts Camp. During high school, he was active in the community and was awarded Student of the Year for his leadership.
Shane worked part time to earn money so he could pursue his dream of moving to Los Angeles after graduation. Armed with this money and with all of his worldly belongings in the trunk of his car, Shane headed to California without a job, but with an abundance of ambition and willingness to work hard. He soon landed a position on Entertainment Tonight as a production assistant and was subsequently promoted to talent coordinator.
In 2005, Shane met his partner, Tom Bridegroom. Shane and Tom started a social media/public relations company, Bridegroom and Bitney, in 2008. In 2011, the devastating accident which took Tom’s life, turned Shane’s world upside down. Shane has now vowed to devote himself to the cause of marriage equality and is currently entertaining speaking requests from around the world. Shane partnered with “Designing Women” creator and director and producer of the critically acclaimed “Man from Hope,” Linda Bloodworth Thomason, in order to make a documentary film about his and Tom’s life together and what happened in the aftermath of Tom’s death. The film will be entitled Bridegroom, An American Love Story.
DoSomething.org loves teens. They are creative, active, wired…and frustrated that our world is so messed up. DoSomething.org harnesses that awesome energy and unleashes it on causes teens care about. Almost every week, we launch a new national campaign. The call to action is always something that has a real impact and doesn’t require money, an adult, or a car. With a goal of 5 million active members by 2015, DoSomething.org is one of the largest organizations in the US for teens and social change.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) seeks to improve the lives of LGBT Americans by advocating for equal rights and benefits in the workplace, ensuring families are treated equally under the law and increasing public support among all Americans.
Love is Louder was started by The Jed Foundation, MTV and Brittany Snow to support anyone feeling mistreated, misunderstood or alone. It’s hundreds of thousands of people just like you who have turned this idea into a movement. A movement of all types of people who have come together to raise the volume around the message that love and support are louder than any internal or external voice that brings us down.
GLAAD unites the movement. We strengthen grassroots organizations so they can leverage media, engage local communities, and advance social change. Right now, GLAAD is working with local organizations in more than 30 states to build support for equality. This collaboration with LGBT leaders and advocacy groups is key to increasing the visibility of our community, changing hearts and minds, and securing full and lasting equality.
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.
GLSEN. The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
We believe that such an atmosphere engenders a positive sense of self, which is the basis of educational achievement and personal growth. Since homophobia and heterosexism undermine a healthy school climate, we work to educate teachers, students and the public at large about the damaging effects these forces have on youth and adults alike. We recognize that forces such as racism and sexism have similarly adverse impacts on communities and we support schools in seeking to redress all such inequities.
GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes in creating a more vibrant and diverse community. We welcome any and all individuals as members, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or occupation, who are committed to seeing this philosophy realized in K-12 schools.
The NOH8 Campaign is a charitable organization whose mission is to promote marriage, gender and human equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest.
Get Equal- Are you ready to join thousands of others demanding equality now for LGBT people? Are you ready to get informed, get involved, and do my part for equality for all?
Our mission is to empower the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community and our allies to take bold action to demand full legal and social equality, and to hold accountable those who stand in the way.
The Give a Damn Campaign is for everybody who cares about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality.
But, it’s especially for all you straight people out there! Whether you’re already an active supporter, want to show your support for the first time, or hadn’t given equality a lot of thought before and now want to learn more, we are here to help you get informed about the issues and get involved, at a pace that works for you.
You’ll find a lot of useful information throughout this site—information that’ll engage you, surprise you and move you. You will also find a bunch of ways to get involved and show your support and encourage your straight peers to show theirs as well.
For all you gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender folks—we need and want you here, too! Because this site is also for you. Not only will you learn new things that might surprise and interest you, you’ll also find a lot of useful tools and resources that will help you encourage the straight people in your life to give a damn.
Like we said, the Give a Damn Campaign is for everyone. Because the only way we can truly achieve equality for all is if we all get informed and get involved. So join us today and let us know you give a damn!
PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.
Straight But Not Narrow was started by asking that very question.
There have been a number of great campaigns and charities that have recently emerged to show support to gay youth & teens. However, we noticed one significant niche missing in the efforts. the message to the young, straight male. Its an unfortunate reality that most of the bullying and harassment that gay teens face comes from them. It is for this reason that we are building a campaign that is primarily directed to the young, straight male by using comedy and their peers to positively influence their views on LGBT teens.
So, whether you like girls, you like guys, you like both, you like neither (well, you get the idea). what difference does it really make? Theres a whole lot more to a person than who they date. And yeah, were all different. But we believe that its those differences that make us interesting. Why would we all want to be exactly the same? Where’s the excitement in that?
Just be you. Cause thats good enough for us.