News (USA)

Former pro baseball player comes out as gay & announces engagement

Former pro baseball player comes out as gay & announces engagement
T.J. House came out and announced his engagement to Ryan Neitzel with a set of photos of the couple Photo: Facebook screenshot

Former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher TJ House, who played for Cleveland and the Blue Jays, has come out as gay and announced his engagement to his boyfriend Ryan Neitzel.

The baseball star cited the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) as the impetus for his public announcement.

“I’ve struggled my entire life with being comfortable in my own skin. I have purposefully distanced myself from people for the sake of trying to protect myself,” House posted on Facebook along with photos of the couple holding hands. “It’s disheartening how one simple thing can change an individual’s opinion of you in a matter of seconds. It has taken me years to wake up every morning and tell myself that you are loved for you, the one that’s deep down inside that you’ve never truly let out.”

“I’ve been loved my whole life for what I did as a career, and it carried me for the longest time. Eventually though, it’s a bandage that covers a wound that needs fresh air to heal. You have to rip it off at some point if you truly want to get better. Shame has kept me quiet all these years, but Love has finally set me free.”

“Today’s passage of the Respect for Marriage Act protects us to have the same rights and opportunities that each of you have. It protects the same benefits. 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 (he said Yes!), to marry them. I have a wonderful fiance, 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 is the third former MLB player to come out as gay.

Proponents believe that the RMA is necessary since the Supreme Court overturned the federal right to an abortion in Roe v. Wade this past June in its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, using legal reasoning that could be applied to end marriage equality. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his concurring opinion that the Court should “reconsider” Obergefell in light of its decision in Dobbs.

The bill would require the federal and state governments to recognize same-sex and interracial marriages performed by other states if the Supreme Court overturns Obergefell v. Hodges.

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