LGBTQ advocate to speak at WVU-P

PARKERSBURG — A writer, speaker and advocate for the LGBTQ community will speak 12:15-1 p.m. Thursday at West Virginia University at Parkersburg in the college theater.

The presentation by Shane Bitney Crone is sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and is made possible by a Higher Education Resource Assessment Grant. The event is free and open to the public and will be streamed live at the Jackson County Center in room 206.

The program will include a 20-minute excerpt from the documentary “Bridegroom: A Love Story. Unequaled.” A moderated discussion with Crone will be led by WVU Parkersburg President Chris Gilmer.

The documentary follows the journey of Crone and his partner Tom Bridegroom, both struggling with their sexual orientation and Crone’s depression and frustration after their six-year relationship ended with Bridegroom’s fatal accident.

To educate others about what happened, Crone uploaded a video to YouTube called “It Could Happen to You” on the one-year anniversary of Bridegroom’s death.

The video went viral with over 20 million views and in 2015, Entertainment Weekly said it played a role in the nationwide campaign for marriage equality.

Crone continues to travel the world and advocate for LGBTQ rights. He has been awarded the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Award and was named one of Instinct Magazine’s Leading Men in 2012 and one of Huffington Post’s Most Compelling People.

It is encouraged that guests view “Bridegroom: A Love Story. Unequaled” before the event. A limited number of copies will be available for student overnight checkout at the WVU Parkersburg library, but it can be rented from Redbox and streamed through Netflix.

For more information, contact Debbie Richards at or 304 424-8201.