Former Major League pitcher TJ House has come out as gay while announcing his engagement to his longtime boyfriend.
The 33-year-old made the announcement on Facebook, where he also explained that he’s ‘struggled’ with his identity for much of his life: ‘Shame has kept me quiet all these years, but Love has finally set me free.’
The announcement comes days after the Respect for Marriage Act, which repeals the Defense of Marriage act and requires all US federal government agencies to recognize same-sex and interracial marriages was passed.
‘Today’s passage of the Respect for Marriage Act protects us to have the same rights and opportunities that each of you have,’ House wrote on Facebook last week in a post featuring engagement photos of himself with fiancé, Ryan Neitzel.
‘It protects the same benefits,’ he continued. ‘It makes us equal to you. It allows Ryan Neitzel and I to come together and create something beautiful. It gives me the confidence to get engaged to the person I love, to marry them. I have a wonderful fiancé, who challenges me daily to become a better person.
‘I’m finally healing, and days like today are what helps me continue to grow into the person I’ve been all along, one I’ve locked up for 20-plus years. Today I am loved.’
House also described Neitzel in his post: ‘I have a wonderful fiancé, who challenges me daily to become a better person. To live life authentically. One who I never deserved but blessed to have. Love you see, it’s for everyone.’
House, a side-arm throwing southpaw, logged four big league seasons, posting a 4.44 ERA both as a starter and reliever.
The Louisiana native was a member of the 2016 Cleveland Indians that fell in the World Series to the Chicago Cubs.