It’s tempting to call Martha and Norman Bridegroom of Knox, Indiana, the parents of Tom Bridegroom who died last year, the “worst parents in the world.” But their story, sadly, isn’t unique.
It’s happened before, and still happens.
I have a gay relative whose parents no longer consider him their son because he’s gay and has a (wonderful) partner of nearly twenty years now. Bad parents can be vicious parents (and you are a bad parent if you treat your son, and his family, like this).
There’s a viral YouTube video going around about a young gay man and how his parents reportedly mistreated him and his partner after they found out he was gay. Things only got worse when he died at the age of 29. The surviving partner made the video, and it’s heartbreaking. (Video is below.)
Shane (l) and Tom (r)
Last year Shane lost Tom in an accident. Tom’s mother, Martha Bridegroom, came to California from Knox, Indiana to retrieve Tom’s body. While Shane was at home resting, she left with Tom for Indiana without allowing Shane to say goodbye. Tom’s father, Norman Bridegroom, then threatened violence against Shane if he were to attend the funeral Indiana. Shane was shut out.
Shane says that Tom’s mom promised to stay in touch, let him know about the funeral, etc. She never reached out to him again.
Shane says that Tom’s parents did, however, get word to him that if he showed up at the funeral he would be “attacked” by Tom’s father and uncle. This, after Tom reportedly claimed that his father threatened him with a gun, and physically attacked him, when he came home at Christmas after having told his parents he was gay.
Of course, the reaction of the hospital wasn’t any better. They refused to tell Shane anything about what happened to Tom without the mother’s permission because – drum roll please – gay relationships aren’t real relationships in the eyes of the law. (I’m curious as to how the hospital got away with doing this since the President supposedly mandated that hospitals treat gay partners as family – that treatment should include medical records. Does it?)
This video came out two months ago. I’d never heard of it. Apparently they’ve raised a lot of money to do a documentary about the story. Watch this video. It’s ten minutes long, very well done, and totally worth it.
|After Tom cut Shane’s hair.|
I will say one thing: I hope the Bridegroom’s of Indiana are enjoying their 15 minutes of fame. They’re now a YouTube sensation, approaching 3 million views.
They say there’s a special place in hell. Well, that place is on the Internet, where bad deeds live forever, especially if your last name is as unique as “Bridegroom.” (Google it – on the first results page you’ll find links to the story of how they treated their son.)
You wonder if the parents have any concept that they just “Santorumed” their family name forever.
Here’s Shane’s video:
And here’s some local coverage of the story: