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Former MLB player TJ House & his husband hit a home run with beautiful New Orleans wedding – Queerty

4 minutes, 12 seconds Read

Former MLB pitcher TJ House made a living striking out batters. But in the game of love, he just hit a home run!

The left-handed hurler, who publicly came out as gay in December 2022, married his longtime partner over Easter Weekend. The pair read their vows at a beautiful outdoor wedding in New Orleans, before leading their friends and family on a stroll through the city…appropriately accompanied by a jazz band.

House and his partner, Ryan Neitzel, look dapper in their tuxes and bountiful boutonnières (House is dressed in white and Neitzel is wearing black).

“It’s that can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, World Series kind of love,” wrote House on Instagram.

Let the baseball metaphors, and celebrations, commence!

A scroll through House’s curated photo collection shows the wedding captured New Orleans’ special charm, right down to the witchy table arrangements. The reception also included hand-rolled cigars and tarot readings in a beautiful setting.

Their wedding planner, Nicole Maddox Smith, articulated the power of House and Neitzel’s partnership in an Instagram post.

“Marriage is not just about finding someone to share your life with; it’s about finding someone who makes every moment brighter, every challenge easier, and every joy more profound,” she wrote.

The happy couple look overjoyed!

House, 34, pitched four seasons in MLB. He posted a respectable 4.44 ERA in 119.2 innings pitched, with 90 strikeouts and five career wins.

For the longest time, House says his aspiring pro baseball career carried him through life. It didn’t take the southpaw long to achieve his dream: he made his MLB debut with the Cleveland Guardians when he was 23.

Yet, House felt empty. The trappings of wealth and fame couldn’t fill the void in his heart.

“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,” he wrote on Facebook in December 2022. “Deep down I wanted something more, I wanted to be loved not for what I did, but who I was.”

Like many LGBTQ+ athletes, House struggled to reconcile his athletic success with his self-identity. For years, he avoided the topic altogether.

“I’ve struggled my entire life with being comfortable in my own skin. I have purposefully distanced myself from people for the sake of trying to protect myself,” he wrote.

“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.”

It’s apparent that meeting Neitzel propelled House to finally prioritize his own wellbeing. He wrote poignantly about the power of love in his coming out post, which he published when the Respect for Marriage Act was passed.

He says he felt alone, until he met his life partner.

“Love. It’s a simple word, one that carries much weight and meaning. Each of us defines love in a different way, but at the core we all just want to feel the same,” he wrote. “To be loved by someone who only wants the best for you, walking the trials of life side by side. Some say we choose who we love as if love doesn’t pop out of the darkest corner of your life, when you least expect it, and throws you into a magical spell that pulls you out of loneliness.

“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,” he wrote. “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.”

House’s announcement drew national headlines, from TMZ to NBC News. The four-vet was the third ex-MLB player to come out publicly–following Glenn Burke and Billy Bean–and first in 23 years.

In total, there have only been 14 out players in pro baseball history.

Five days following his coming out, House was invited to the White House. He witnessed Joe Biden signing the Respect for Marriage Act first-hand.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think today would be possible. Thank you @potus for allowing us to be a part of something so special,” he wrote on Instagram.

Now a real estate agent, House is keeping a low profile in retirement. But that doesn’t mean he can’t come out of the bullpen when it matters.

We would say getting married certainly qualifies. Congratulations!

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