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2014

Readers' Choice Award Nomination: Shane Bitney Crone

Readers' Choice Award Nomination: Shane Bitney Crone

After losing the man he loved in a tragic accident, the filmmaker shared his story and has become an LGBT activist for equal rights

When 26-year-old Shane Bitney Crone posted his YouTube clip titled, "It Could Happen To You," on May 6, 2012, he never imagined the 10-minute short would snowball into a movement. The clip--which has now been viewed close to 5 million times--tells the story of Bitney Crone's boyfriend, Tom Bridegroom, who had a fatal accident and how Bitney Crone was denied access to him by the hospital and Bridegroom's family wouldn't allow him to attend the funeral since he had no legal rights.

The clip inspired director Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (Designing Women) to make a feature-length documentary, Bridegroom, which later premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and aired on Oprah's OWN, reaching many more fans inspired by the heart-wrenching tale. Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o presented the award for Outstanding Documentary to Shane Bitney Crone Bloodworth-Thomason at this year's 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards.

"Every time I see it, it does bring up so many emotions for me," Crone explained to Out, "But if anything, it inspires me and it motivates me to continue standing up for what I believe in and standing up for Tom. Just watching it, it reminds me how fortunate I am to have such a supportive family and group of friends."

Bitney Crone grew up in Montana and now, working as an activist, he continues to campaign and inspire many people around the country to reconsider their bigoted views about marriage equality and equal rights for LGBT people.

VOTE for 2014 Out100 Readers' Choice Award Winner. Presented by Buick.

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