Professional rugby player Devin Ibañez has said that he's received overwhelming support after coming out gay.

Ibañez, who played with the New England Free Jacks in 2019, came out on Facebook and Instagram on Tuesday.

“Everyone has been overwhelmingly supportive and amazing,” Ibañez told LGBT sports blog Outsports. “I've even gotten some messages from players who played on the same teams as me who told me a bit about their own stories. And that's all I really want. Just to connect with those who had similar experiences and hopefully inspire those who are going through the same things.”

In coming out, Ibañez posted photos of his boyfriend Fergus Wade, an English medical student he met in 2017. In one photo, Ibañez shares a kiss with Wade.

Ibañez's Instagram account appears to have been created to mark his coming out. His profile name is “thatgayrugger” and he describes himself as the “first openly gay @usmlr player.”

Ibañez said that he wanted to make positive changes in his life that would impact his happiness.

“It became clear to me that living my life with more transparency and openly celebrating who I love would have an immediate positive impact on me and those I care about,” he said.

Ibañez said that while his sexuality wasn't a secret, he “felt a need to keep it separate from my rugby career.”

He told Outsports that coming out publicly has been a “long and difficult process” for him despite having tremendous support.

“I am extremely lucky to live in a very accepting place in Boston,” he said. “And to have an amazingly supportive family. So in many ways I’ve had it very easy, but it was still a long and difficult process. But I can say I am definitely one of the lucky ones, so if I couldn’t get myself to take that step for this long with all of the support I had, I can’t imagine how difficult it is for those who don’t have those support systems.”

Ibañez added that he hopes to play in England to be closer to Wade.