[Content Note: Anti-gay Discrimination, Anti-gay Violence, Death, Loss of a Loved One]
I know I said I was going to be doing light and easy posts until after my birthday. However, a friend on Facebook posted the following video yesterday and I feel it’s important enough to share here, my plans be damned.
Tom and Shane’s story is heartbreaking and not uncommon. It’s what happens when people whose relationships are not honored by their family are given no form of legal recognition and therefore no protections. A surviving partner can be left out in the cold. This is the reality that many “defenders of traditional marriage” want to ignore and sweep under the rug. Oh, when confronted, they’ll pay lip service to wanting to find “other ways” of protecting same-sex couples and LGBT people in general. But I have yet to see them put actions behind their words. And words without actions to back them up are little more than lies to me.
I’m also deeply disturbed by the behavior of Tom’s family. I mean, this is their son’s lover they’ve shut out completely. As Shane himself suggested, he was (almost certainly) the most important person in Tom’s life. How Tom’s family can do something that I find so incredibly disrespectful toward and dishonoring of their own son’s memory astounds me. This is why I say that people in my life do not have to like or approve of my love relationships. However, they have to accept that they are what they are and deal with that reality.
According to the EqualLoveEqualRights Facebook page, there’s a documentary about Tom and Shane’s story which was shown this past April at the Tribeca Film Festival. I look forward to checking it out when it becomes available on DVD.