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 sexuality.

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.