In a Facebook post, retired Major
League Baseball (MLB) pitcher TJ House announced his engagement to
his boyfriend and discussed for the first time publicly his
The 33-year-old House retired in 2017
after playing for the Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians.
In his post, House said that “shame”
kept him in the closet but love set him free.
“I’ve struggled my entire life with
being comfortable in my own skin,” he
wrote. “I have purposefully distanced myself from people for
the sake of trying to protect myself. 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.”
In announcing his engagement to Ryan
Neitzel, House noted passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, which
protects the marriages of same-sex couples.
“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. “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.”
“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,” the concluded.
House and Neitzel have been dating for
over eight years.