Gay ex-baseball star marries his partner in a lavish New Orleans wedding – complete with jazz band

TJ House, one of only a few openly gay former professional baseball pitchers, has just got married in New Orleans in a beautiful ceremony.

House, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 2015 to 2017, tied the knot with Ryan Neitzel on Friday (29 March).

The pair celebrated their love with a luxurious outdoor New Orleans wedding before marching arm-in-arm through the streets accompanied by a jazz band.

On Tuesday (2 April), TJ House shared images of his wedding with the world; including their matching black and white suits and bowties, floral arrangements, and gorgeously rustic venue. 

“It’s that can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, World Series kind of love,” House’s Instagram caption read, a reference to Mary-Kate Olsen’s line in the 1995 movie It Takes Two.

Neitzel also posted an image of the wedding ceremony alongside a caption quoting Daniel Broxmeyer: “Marriage is one of the greatest opportunities to enter into a life of limitless possibilities. And, in moments of doubt or despair, you find comfort knowing that you are not alone – that there is someone who will always stand by you, no matter what.” 

TJ House made history in December 2022 as he became the third former MLB player ever to publicly come out as gay, joining Glenn Burke and Billy Bean. He made the statement on Facebook paired with the reveal of his engagement to Neitzel.

Six days after the announcement, the Toronto Blue Jays pitcher also made a public appearance with his then-fiancé at The White House to commemorate the signing of the Respect for Marriage Act.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think today would be possible. Thank you [President Joe Biden] for allowing us to be a part of something so special,” House wrote on Instagram with an image of the couple outside The White House. 

Out LGBTQ+ baseball players in history

In the 175-year history of pro baseball in the US, the number of LGBTQ+ athletes who have come out is very, very low.

According to OutSports, there have been only three queer players in MLB and 11 in the minor leagues who have come out.

TJ House (who came out in 2022), Burke (who came out in 2010) and Bean (who came out in 1999) make up the three men who have come publicly as queer.

There have been 11 openly LGBTQ+ athletes in minor leagues – Anderson Comas, David Denson Solomon Bates, Ty Dunnington, Sean Conroy, Jason Burch, Kieran Lovegrove, Bryan Ruby, Tyler Townsend, John Dillinger – but only one of them is a woman: Ila Borders.

Borders’ girlfriend Sherri Murrell became the first out gay coach in women’s Division I basketball.

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