May 11, 2011

Still Few Details On Tom Bridegroom's Death

[via]
Sadly, there are still few details regarding the death of Tom Bridegroom, a Vassar alumnus, model, and MTV host. Since we posted the news yesterday, Tom's Wikipedia page has been updated, but with little additional information. According to the page, Tom's death occurred on May 7th. This was the last day that Tom used his Twitter account. The only posts that indicate  what he was doing that day include two about going to the gym and one featuring a picture of two glasses of Prosecco.

The biggest update is the creation of a Facebook memorial page, which appears to have gone up earlier today, possibly within the last hour. The page's administrator writes that Tom's funeral will take place in Indiana and there will be an additional memorial in L.A., tentatively scheduled for June 11th. One post reads:

"We want to let you know that Tom's mother, Martha Bridegroom, is planning Tom's funeral arrangements and he will be laid to rest in his home state of Indiana. The Los Angeles memorial will bring together anyone and everyone who will not be able to attend the memorial in Indiana."

58 comments:

George said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Almost a year later, here is an update on your fellow alumni:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR9gyloyOjM

Stephen Dimmick said...

I know your beautiful husband Shane misses you so much. Your life is not in vein.

Sándor & Norbert (Holland) said...

Just saw Shane's FB movie.... So sad... Incredible

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to Shane. I'm almost ready to go hunt down Tom's family in Indiana. How disgustingly shameful of them.

Anonymous said...

Shame on Shane for all the hatred toward's Tom's flesh and blood. Shane has set up a lynch mob - surely Tom would not want that! Shame on you, Shane. boooo!

Anonymous said...

Sadly, if Tom's family would have accepted him and loved him, he might still be alive. </3 My heart aches for Shane and the Bridegrooms.

Rob said...

Shane's message is one of love and acceptance, the only hatred in this story is Toms families vile attitude towards their beautiful son and the only person who loved him unconditionally. Shane hasn't set up a lynch mob, Toms parents vile hatred and bitter little hearts has inspired a lynch mob, Shane's message of love and acceptance was just the messenger which brought their bigoted views to light.

Anonymous said...

Shane's message is spreading awareness for an important issue. The shame here lies with Tom's family for not allowing Shane to say goodbye to his partner. The funeral wasn't about them, it was about Tom. And they dirtied it with their irrational hate. They didn't have to agree with Tom's lifestyle, but they dirtied their son's death with hatred. Like you said, they were his flesh and blood. So they never should have turned their backs on him, threatened him with VIOLENCE, and then turned away the person whom he loved, and who had loved him for who he was. Shame indeed, anonymous, shame on his "flesh and blood".

Anonymous said...

I think you are confused. He did not kill himself, he was happy in his life with Shane. He fell during a photo shoot. While his parents can be blamed for causing him heart ache in life, they aren't responsible for his death in any way.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I just watched the video on YouTube. When it mentioned Indiana I started to think about how my small town in Indiana would handle something like this. At eight minutes and thirty seconds I about fell out of my chair. I grew up in Knox, IN...now I know.

Anonymous said...

Wow after seeing this video toms family should be ashamed of how they treated him and Shane
They should have been so happy that there son found someone who accepted him and loved him for him and unconditionally. This is so sad toms final resting place should have never been left to his mother and I hope his mother and family feel tormented for the rest of there lives I can't imagine how Tom must have felt knowing his family didn't accept him for who he was....shame on You guys!!!! I pray for you Shane I'm so glad your family supports you!!!!

Anonymous said...

Mrs and Mr Bridegroom Senior ... Tsk Tsk Tsk.

Anonymous said...

First let me say this. I support same-sex marriage. Equality is for everyone. What I am disappointed in is that the comments here reflect judgement from those that read them rather than love. When you draw a line and take stance of shame and pity towards those that don't understand, you do not unite a thought but further the divisive stance on equality for all.

It is human to want to judge those that judge others but shouldn't we find a way to reach all of those who make bad judgements?

Anonymous said...

It's not about judging the judgmental. It's about standing up for justice and speaking out against violence and hatred.

Anonymous said...

i just watched the video and feel anger at these parents and all the other parents and so-called loved ones that would rather see their sons/daughters dead rather then live their lives with the person they choose to love. its sad for everyone involved--BUT IT DID NOT HAVE TO END THIS WAY. its been a year now, any updates on Tom's family
views?

Lisa said...

I am just hearing about this terrible tragedy. My heart breaks for Tom’s love, Shane, and for his parents. It breaks my heart more that some could not see past their own bigotry and fear to see love for what it is. I pray for those people. Love comes in many forms, and we should embrace it. The greatest gift from God is love, is it not?

I have to think that through his death, a powerful message is left behind for us all. Tom clearly touched many lives while he was here, and was loved by all. In his passing, and through the courageous work done by his life partner, Shane, word is quickly spreading like wildfire, not only about the life of a beautiful boy that was so tragically cut short, but another message, about love.

Thank you Shane for keeping Tom on everyone’s minds and in our hearts. I’ve never met either of you. But you’ve truly touched my heart today, and I know you’ve spread your important message to so many others. This is how change happens, folks.

My love and prayers to you Shane, and to Tom’s family.
Lisa

Anonymous said...

You cannot force people to love what you love. Most normal males do not find it palatable to have their private parts encompassed in a rectum. Most people avoid the filthier parts of their humanness as best they can - hence there are no picnics around waste water treatment plants. The blindness that is required of those that espouse this lifestyle is nothing short of astounding. None of you ever say where (if any) you will draw a line. Equal Love Equal Rights = anyone can marry anything. Yes? A man can marry his dog if he so chooses - who are you to say he can't? Your mother could marry her car - and leave her $50 million estate to said car...and you would have nothing to say about it? Tolerance is just another way of saying "Please accept my choice of sin and help me feel OK about it." Sorry my friends - you will never win over those that believe there are right and wrong in this world. That's just the cold hard facts. Can't wait to see the venom that comes flying back at my comments!

Andy said...

Dear Anonymous @ 10:49am today...

Your comments are simply disgusting, and I'm sure they'll be deleted in due time. They have no place here (or anywhere, for that matter).

What's more, your visualization about the couple's sexual practices just reinforces the paradoxical truth that you and your kind are obsessed with what other people do (or do not do, unless you are a voyeur and documented said practices) in the sanctity of their own homes.

For the record, being gay is not a "lifestyle," which suggests it's a choice. One is BORN gay, and it simply depends on when one discovers it: whether you are five or 55. "Lifestyle" suggests there is something deliberate about being gay, and with the amount of vitriole surrounding homosexuality in our supposedly progressive society, it's hardly something anyone would wish on themselves, or their worst enemy.

-Andy, Vassar '01

Andy said...

Afterword: Loving someone of the same sex is not the same as loving a car, a dog, a monkey, a mailbox, or whatever dumb analogy you want to make. Though, I would argue, one should be able to "marry" anything (or anyone) he or she wants. Why do you care if I choose to spend my golden years watching sunsets and playing Scrabble with a box truck?

Anonymous said...

I have been openly gay for 25 years. I have fought for gay rights for two decades. I am nobody's idea of a homophobe. But Oh lord, I am so tired of this whole "it is not a choice" nonsense.
There is no conclusive proof that we are born this way. There is no conclusive proof that it is developed environmentally in our formative years. Yes, it could very well be a choice. There is no proof about any of this.

More importantly, WHY DO WE CARE???? I am gay. I don't need a reason to justify it. Saying "it is not a choice" smacks of self-hatred and apology. I don't know why I am gay, but tomorrow I ABSOLUTELY would choose to be gay all over again. I am not going to apologize for it by saying "please accept me -- i was born this way -- i can't help myself". Ugh. That whole argument is repulsive.

Besides, biological determinism has been used against people of color, has been used against women -- why in the world do we gay people think it is a good strategy?

Religion is not a choice, yet it is protected under the law. We do not need to be born this way in order to deserve equal rights. Choice/genetic/environmental -- it does not matter why. We deserve equal rights because we are human.

Anonymous said...

Religion is a choice, though people are usually influenced into a certain religion at a young age, but people change their beliefs all the time. While you may say you would choose to be gay again you didn't choose to be gay in the first place, hense why so many gay people try to be straight but can't, they tried to choose to be straight but it didn't work. Agree wtih you on the fact that even if it is a choice it should still be protected under the law because of the fact that people who are against gay marriage wouldn't be affected if it were legalized.

Anonymous said...

Many don't feel hatered towards the Bridegroom family, only sorrow in that they didn't honor their son. They did not accept him for who he was and chose to limit their connections with him. In his death they selfishly chose to a burial and service that did not include those closest to him. Had he been able to marry Shane, Shane would've accommodated the Bridegroom family to participate in Tom's burial and services. Much different than how the Bridegroom family chose to handle things.

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha you so stupid and pathetic. It's funny how you talk about sin because last time I checked thee shall not judge and what do you do "JUDGE", idiot. And hate because you can stand the fact to see someone happy. You'll be the first to go to hell if you should ask yourself. Keep judging one day you might have kids that come out gay. That would be your punishment. I so dislike people that call there selves Jesus kids but have so much hate towards other because of there sexuality. There no such thing as a bug sin they are all the same. You curse, you judge, and pretty sure probably go to church and talk about others. So if being gay is a sin I'm sure everything you do is too.

Anonymous said...

This is a very sad and very inspiring story of a great love
enjoyed by Tom and Shane . I think the Bridegroom family lost Tom twice when they ostracized him and
when he died . To do this to your own flesh and blood and such a sweet funny loving one such as Tom.
I hope this true tale opens up many hearts and minds let people love whom they want and support their ability to find their true
mate .Best to Shane thanks for sharing your touching story .

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous of July 17, 2012- My parents told me I kissed girls on the beach at age 2 which I can't remember. What I can remember, I always liked and admired the male form - the muscles, hirsute men, etc. How was this a choice when you feel at six that you're different from other boys and you don't even know what it is? Certainly you choose which feelings to act on but that is a very different thing than how you feel inside.

Anonymous said...

How much Martha and Norman missed by not getting to know Shane and losing a part of their son. It isn't about them. It was about Tom. I am sorry for his loss to both his parents and family and to Shane as well. The grieving process could have been eased on both sides if there had been some acceptance. It should have been about Tom, all aspects of Tom which included Shane as well as his family. There will be a reckoning someday and I would not want to be in Martha and Norman shoes when that happens. Imagine trying to forgive yourself for something like this? It is all very sad for everyone involved and picking sides is not going to change what is.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe this story it makes me sick. My son is gay n I love him more n now feel the need to protect him more from evil people. Y wld u put ur child thru that. SHAME ON U MARTHA MAY U PAY FOR UR SINS

Dave G. said...

Hey, "Anonymous," you gutless wonder. The issue is a PERSON choosing the PERSON who they want to marry.
Your ridiculous, bigoted analogies are precisely the same that were used to argue against allowing people of different races to marry.

Where do YOU draw the line? Only those of whom you approve can marry? Only those of the same race? Same religion?

And my gay friends didn't CHOOSE to be gay. They just ARE. I didn't CHOOSE to be straight. I just am. Did you CHOOSE to be a narrow minded ass?

Climb back under your rock of hatred, pal. And keep hiding behind "Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Why can't we just live and let live. If Tom chose Shane than as hard as his parents found it that he was gay they should've respected his choice, you don't have your children to live their lives for them, you guide them and then let them go, you love them and are hopefully proud of the people they become. I feel for Shane, he has been treated unfairly and Tom would be so disappointed. Mr and Mrs Bridegroom have tried to erase the life that Tom made and that is just making a mockery of who he was, they can't be proud of themselves and to be ashamed of Tom being gay...well I'm lost for words, we live in a very alternative world today..live and let live!

Anonymous said...

Laying in bed this morning next to my partner of 7 years with tears streaming down my face after watching that video. I can't imagine my world anymore without Jesse in it. I lost my mom recently and never got to tell her about me. That regret still haunts me daily. I couldn't deal with it anymore and had to tell my family. They have embarrassed us both. Shane, I truly wish you could have experienced the love we have from both sides of our family.. My heart aches for you and for Tom. It's truly unfortunate. What you do in your life now will define not just you, but Tom as well. You must live for both of you. As far as his family, I am sure they are in pain, but not just for their loss, but for their actions! Someday hopefully they will understand where they went wrong. It doesn't matter what you say or how you treat people after they are gone. It matters what you do, say or treat hem when they are here amongst us.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

this story just makes me so sad... I do feel the family did such a horrible injustice and I pity them... and seeing a photo of tom's grave headstone that is designed with the father and mother on each side, it is as if they are grasping to hold onto him. I feel sadness for tom's brother and sister having to live knowing the hatred their parents splashed upon the earth. for their legacy is not one of honor, but of suspension of belief and reality. and to shane, I say ignorance will always exist and haters will always hate, but the work you now do ripples far beyond the horizon. keep it up. I pray tom's family finds strength through the holy spirit to make amends and atone for the wrongdoing.

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Shelley said...

I feel terrible for Shane & Tom's family. All who lost him in that tragic accident. You should not hate people, you should forgive them. With that being said, I would not want my sons last memory of me holding a gun to his head or screaming at him. I wouldnt be able to live with myself. Even if the parents didnt agree with the relationship, they could have put their own egos aside for a few days and honor their sons wishes. He would have wanted Shane at his funeral. I wouldnt keep anyone away who wanted to love either of my sons, especially if they were as happy as Shane was. Its so sad that his family had to bring him pain, when all they had to do was love him. His choices were not theirs, so there was no reason for them to treat him the way they. My boys do things that I dont agree with, but I love them so much that I will always support them & be there for them until the end.

Shelley said...

And to the comment about people marrying cars or animals...that is absurd. An animal nor a car can give consent to marry. Tom chose Shane as two intelligent human beings, on the same level, to have a relationship with him because he loved him. You cant say that about your car.

Anonymous said...

God has big plans for you Shane. You may not understand it or even believe it at times, but someday you'll look back and say, 'Now I get it." It's unfortunate it has to be so painful - but I totally believe with all my heart, it is all apart of a plan. God bless.

HeavyHeart said...

Toms parents set up their own lynch mob! You must have bumped your head. He had a life & home with this man & I'm positive Tom wouldn't want Shane excluded & pretend he never had met. So when posting such comments step back & try to imagine how would YOU feel if your spouse died & you had ZERO to do with service, funeral & saying goodbye.

Anonymous said...

This is the saddest story I've ever heard. I think the Bridegrooms are disgusting parents and should be ashamed of what they did. Shane may you find peace in your life now.

missyH said...

Being a mom, I have so many WHY"S for Tom's parents.... How cruel! These parents need therapy!

Drew said...

Shane...first off God bless you, you will get through this. I can't imagine going through what you have had to endure with losing your true love and being treated unfairly by his family and those out there who just don't understand. Tom was lucky to have you too.

...

Anonymous said...

I watched your documentary on OWN last night, and with the death of Tom and your love, I feel like someone in my family died. You have inspired me to do more for our community and pursue happiness too.



Anonymous said...

These young men were in love enough said. I think the Bridegrooms are being paid back. Think of the memories Tom's partner could share with the Bridegrooms. Memories for them to cherish of their sons happiness.

Betty Dunbar said...

I hope this tragedy will open all out hearts to everyone wheter it is a same sex marriage or not. Love is Blind

Anonymous said...

First of all, I am not gay. Secondly, I would NEVER misrepresent god's message, like allot of Christian's do daily. Radical Judgmental Christians break two of the biggest sins constantly; I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no other God before me. and Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Both commandment's above are directly related to this verse in the bible; Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Misrepresenting god is taking gods name in vain and judging is making you god.

Anonymous said...

Luke 6:37
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven

Richard Thompson said...

Shane,
I saw the documentary, and was struck by many parts of your journey. Most of all is your unconditional message that it is possible to find that most elusive of creatures, your soul mate. I had one who left the world 17 years ago. I think we only get one, but how fortunate that you found wonderful Tom. The world is better because you had 6 years of joy.

Gary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gary said...

Love is a miracle and there is nothing equal to its goodness and power. Shane and Tom were that blessed for what was too brief a time here, but the love they share will continue to survive even the ages. We're now blessed by their heartwarming and heartbreaking story to be inspired to examine our own hearts and minds and to set things right. May God help and bless us to be capable of seeing love as His greatest gift to us; may we all know love like Shane's and Tom's.

Thomas Sawyer said...

I will love and forgive Tom's parents after I spit in both of their faces. They were not parents. They were more representative of pure evil.
Rest in peace Tom and may you and Shane know that your story absolutely moved me.

Anonymous said...

Someone left a disgusting message about men and rectums. Plenty of straight couples have sex using rectums so I don't see the point of this. Also you weren't there t witness them have intercourse...how do you even know what type of sex they had? What's obvious is that two people loved each other. It's important to remember how wonderful and talented Tom was. Not to try to guess what he did in his personal sex-life.
I feel great sorrow for the Bridegroom Family. I don't hate them at all. They were hurt when Tom came out of the closet. I think the way they acted with the funeral was perhaps their way of getting back at Shane (who supposedly made Tom gay). I think once Tom's dad is gone...Tom's mother will have an epiphany and realize that Shane meant the world to Tom. Perhaps there's hope for Shane and the Bridegrooms in the distant future. God bless you Tom. Sleep in the arms of the angels.

Anonymous said...

About the Bridegroom Family. The only thing they're thinking is that their little boy is gone. I'm sure their hearts were broken...and there just wasn't enough room in their hearts for poor Shane. I think the family just wanted to preserve Tom's "reputation." Also, they were angry with Tom for being gay. Tom's not here anymore...so Shane was the easiest person to take their anger out on. I've always heard that most people have a difficult time dealing with pain and mourning. So, they replace that emotion with anger and hate. This is clearly what the Bridegrooms have done...and it's a natural phenomenon. That's why there are so many family fights and arguments when a loved one passes away. It's easier to deal with the anger than the loss and pain. I have a suspicion that most of the hate was from Tom's father. He just couldn't imagine his talented handsome son as being gay. You have to remember how proud Tom's dad was of him. He just couldn't handle it when Tom admitted he was gay. So, Tom's dad reacted hatefully, with cruel remarks demonizing the son he once worshipped as perfect. Maybe one day Tom's dad will be able to get over it. But the poor man has to face each day realizing that he never accepted his son. That he did NOT love him unconditionally. I think the Bridegroom family will be in enough pain of their own without us hating them. We should be prayer FOR them instead of feeling rage at them. Yes, I'm deeply saddened how Shane was treated...it was cruel and hateful. But hating the Bridegroom family isn't going to change this. But it's a shame, because although the Bridegroom family lost a beloved son...they could have had another beloved son in that of Shane who could have eased their pain...and his.

Anonymous said...

I think Tom and Shane were an amazing couple for many reasons besides the fact that they were devoted to and loved one another. The two were so alike…but yet in other ways polar opposites. They both grew up in small towns…yet, one was hated and practically tortured and ostracized by his community and hometown. The poor kid was excommunicated from football games…to even church functions (and dang!…that’s mean!). However the other was much beloved of his hometown and was popular and had many friends. He went on to a prestigious school and university, and again, he was well liked and popular. It makes one wonder why these two boys were treated so differently. Was it because Tom was so handsome and high spirited? I’m not sure because Shane was the same way as a small child…he was eventually beaten down until he didn’t have any self-worth. Shane was a beautiful child….while Tom was a bit on the chunky side. However, Tom did develop into an extremely handsome young man who was very talented in the arts of piano and singing voice. Shane’s singing voice was actually pretty good…not near what Tom’s voice was…however, Shane never had proper training with that. I just find it so spectacular that such a self-confident, outgoing person like Tom could see the goodness and potential of shy and demure Shane. I constantly wonder what drew these two odd-birds together? Nevertheless Tom loved Shane very deeply. Shane appears to have loved Tom as well…but I think Shane worshipped the ground that Tom walked upon. Shane had never been treated in a serious loving manner…and Tom was the first to ever do this.

Bill Wuensche said...

Shane,
God Bless you and the love that you shared with Tom. Thank you for reminding me how little time we actually have with the people we love. I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through. I only wish I could have been one of the fortunate people to have know your partner and the love of your life. I will pray for his family. Unfortunately they morn the loss of someone they never even knew. You were blessed to have the last few and probably the greatest years of his life.
God Bless and I pray you live your life to the fullest, which is what Tom would have wanted.

Anonymous said...

Shane,
I'm 53 and have not found the love you too have...you should feel so blessed.

Anonymous said...

I have a lake home near Knox, IN. I just finished watching the documentary and I am heartbroken. Next summer I will find Tom's grave and pray that his family will find love in their heart for who their son really was. Stay strong Shane.

Anonymous said...

I just watched the film yesterday and I was sobbing by the end of it (Something a film generally does not cause me to do). I think that this film should be REQUIRED viewing for EVERYONE, STRAIGHT-GAY-BI-UNSURE? but most of all HUMAN!!! This world brings most people a combination of good and bad but for the most part it can be really tough to maneuver through, especially if one has to face it alone. That's why finding someone to share it with is SO SPECIAL AND unfortunately RARE. One would think that Tom's parents would have been so happy for him, having found someone to share his life with: Someone who clearly brought their son so much happiness and joy. HOW SELFISH OF THEM!!! I hope that these hateful and bitter people never experience another day of happiness the rest of their miserable lives. They are truly MONSTERS who did not deserve the privilege of being part of Tom's BEAUTIFUL SPIRIT! May he rest is peace and may his rotten parents BURN IN HELL!!!