Rob Kearney, a professional strength athlete, has come out gay.

In a Facebook post using the hashtag #MCM (Man Crush Monday), Kearney thanked his boyfriend for giving him a “reason to smile.”

“My #mcm goes to this guy, my boyfriend, Joey Aleixo! The past few months have been crazy, but throughout all of this you've given me a reason to smile,” Kearney wrote in posting several photos of the couple. “So I guess this is me coming out and saying … I'm gay!”

According to Outsports, Kearney is “the first self-acknowledged gay man to be actively competing in pro-level, international strongman competition.”

“I thought it was important to be honest,” Kearney said. “People need to know that one of the top strength athletes on the planet is also gay. But I didn't want it to affect my ability to compete. And that possibility definitely crossed my mind before I made that post.”

Kearney said the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I can't remember this many people being this supportive and encouraging in my life! I mean, I have always had people back me for events, but that was nothing compared to the sheer numbers of positive messages that came to me. It was really humbling!” he said.