Former MLB pitcher TJ House comes out in emotional post, also announcing engagement to his boyfriend
Former Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians pitcher T.J. House came out as gay last week, in a message posted to his personal Facebook account, where he also announced his engagement to partner Ryan Neitzel.
House, who spent parts of four seasons in the majors, shared his struggles as a closeted gay man working in professional sports.
“I’ve struggled my entire life with being comfortable in my own skin,” House 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.”
His post continues: “You see, I was 23 years old and living out my childhood dream playing professional baseball in Cleveland. I dedicated all my energy into it, using it as my drug to numb what was really going on inside”
“Don’t get me wrong, I loved every moment of my playing days, and I would go the same route again if I had the chance (with one big change). But even with all the money, fancy cars, nice clothes and a little tiny bit of fame, I would go home every night wishing I could change.
“Deep down I wanted something more, I wanted to be loved not for what I did, but who I was.”
House shared an Instagram post on Thursday – the same day as the US House passed the Respect for Marriage Act.
The legislation is set to become federal law and codify gay and interracial marriages on Tuesday when President Joe Biden will sign it.
“It allows Ryan Neitzel and I to come together and create something beautiful… 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,” House wrote.
The former baseball star has been sharing photos of his boyfriend and him on Instagram for some time, with a recent post celebrating “eight turns around the sun”, featuring House in his Blue Jays uniform alongside fiancé Neitzel.
House is the third former major leaguer to come out as gay, following Billy Bean and Glenn Burke. Congratulations, King!
View this post on Instagram