Baseball star TJ House proudly comes out as gay and announces engagement to boyfriend: ‘I am loved’

TJ House and Ryan Neitzel hold hands while looking at one another in an empty white room with wall lights above them.

Former Major League Baseball star TJ House has proudly come out as gay and has announced his engagement.

The former Cleveland pitcher announced his engagement to his boyfriend, Ryan Neitzel, on Thursday (8 December) while simultaneously coming out as gay.

In a lengthy Facebook post, he outlined his own struggles in “being comfortable in my own skin,” throughout his baseball career.

“I have purposefully distanced myself from people for the sake of trying to protect myself,” he wrote. “It’s disheartening how one single 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.”

TJ House and Ryan Neitzel sit together on curved wooden stairs, leaning on one another affectionately.
The couple announced their engagement while also coming out as gay to the public. (Facebook)

The major league baseball star used the recent passing of the Respect for Marriage Act as a signal that he could show the world his truth and the relationship that has been built upon it.

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The act passed through the US House onto president Joe Biden’s desk after an 8 December vote of 258-169.

The bill aims to codify the right to same-sex marriage by removing currently dormant homophobic legislation that would be reinstated if the Supreme Court were to overturn Obergefell v Hodges.

“Today’s passing of the Respect for Marriage Act protects us to have the same rights and opportunities that each of you have,” House added.

“It makes us equal to you,” he continued. “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.”

House is the third former MLB player to come out as gay, according to Sports Illustrated.

Fans congratulate TJ House and Ryan Neitzel for their engagement

The post was met with near-unanimous commendation and praise from fans and friends alike, with many people congratulating the couple.

“Thank you for sharing something so personal so publicly,” a Facebook reply read. “Congratulations and much happiness to you and Ryan.”

“So happy for the two [of] you! And thank you for sharing your heartfelt words. You are so loved!” another person wrote.

To those he had kept his sexuality a secret from, House said: “I know most would say, ‘You never really gave me a chance to love you for who you are because we didn’t know.’

“You’re right, I gave very few that chance. I’ve sat in many rooms, listened to conversations around me, sat in pews at church and read posts that have led me to act otherwise.

“It’s hard listening to people talk about you without them knowing that the words they are saying are directed at you.”

House finished by saying that he is “finally healing” and that days like the passing of the Respect for Marriage Act help him continue “to grow into the person I’ve been all along, one I’ve locked up for 20 plus years.”

“Today, I am loved.”