(NEW YORK) -- When retired NFL player Jeff Rohrer tied the knot with Joshua Ross over the weekend, becoming the first ex-NFL player to be in a same-sex marriage, he said the decision was a relief after living in the closet for most of his life.
"I followed my heart," the 59-year-old told ABC News.
It wasn't until he divorced his wife a decade ago that he was able to truly tap into his feelings.
"I was living the life of a straight man for most of my life," he said. "My generation, it just was never part of the narrative."
Rohrer, an ex-Cowboys player, married 36-year-old Ross, the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" aesthetician, over the weekend in front of more than 100 family and friends.
Rohrer came out to the world last week.
“To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow–this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.” – Elizabeth Gilbert A post shared by Josh & Jeff Rohrer (@joshuaandjeffrey) on Nov 14, 2018 at 8:23am PST
"I feared the worst with my kids, I feared the worst with my family, I feared the worst with my friends, I feared the worst with my teammates," he said. "I feared the worst with past teammates and I would say 99.4 percent I was wrong."
Ross and Rohrer said they've heard from other athletes grappling with the same issues.
"There was a young kid playing, I don't think it was professional baseball I think it was college baseball, and he basically sent along a message saying thank you so much and I need advice," Ross said. ..To read more, subscribe to the blackchronicle newspaper