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T.J. House, Former MLB Player, Comes Out as Gay

Former MLB Player T.J. House Comes Out as Gay

The baseball pitcher becomes only the third former player in the league's history to come out publicly. 

Former professional baseball player T.J. House came out as gay in a recent post to social media. House joins the late Glenn Burke and baseball's current senior vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Billy Bean, as the only former Major League Baseball players to have come out publicly.

House, who pitched for the Cleveland Guardians and the Toronto Blue Jays during his career, also announced his engagement to fiance Ryan Neitzel in the post. House said he struggled his entire career to keep his identity secret but credited the Respect for Marriage Act for providing the inspiration to come out now.

"I've struggled my entire life with being comfortable in my own skin," House wrote in the post, adding that he distanced himself from many people to keep his sexuality a secret.

"Today's passage of the Respect for Marriage Act protects us to have the same rights and opportunities that each of you have," House continued. "It protects the same benefits. It makes us equal to you. It allows Ryan Neitzel and I to come together and create something beautiful."

House becomes only the third former MLB player to come out publicly. lenn Burke is generally regarded as the first out player in Major League Baseball, at least to his teammates, coaches, and the press. He came out publicly post-retirement in a 1982 story that appeared in Inside Sports. Billy Bean also came out after he retired and recently spoke withThe Advocate about the significance of being an out former major league player.

"This is a great day for the league and baseball," Bean told Outsports about House's announcement.

House told Outsports the prospect of being only the third out MLB player was daunting, especially after he heard what others say about gay people.

"It's hard listening to people talk about you without them knowing the words they are saying are directed at you," he told the outlet.

In his Facebook post, though, House gave a positive preview of the days ahead of him.

"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," he wrote.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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