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Jeff Rohrer — gay retired Dallas Cowboys linebacker — to marry his boyfriend

Jeff Rohrer Joshua Ross

Retired Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jeff Rohrer has publicly come out as gay and will be the first former or current NFL player in a same-sex marriage. Photo: Allan Zaki.

Retired Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jeff Rohrer has publicly come out as gay and will be the first former or current NFL player in a same-sex marriage, he revealed in a new interview published on Wednesday.

In an interview with the New York Times, Rohrer, 59, opened up about his sexuality for the first time. “I’m sure there’s going to be some people out there who have a negative reaction to this,” Rohrer told the Times in a story published Wednesday, adding, “and I’m fine with it.”

Born and raised in Manhattan Beach, Rohrer played football in high school and then at Yale University. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys and played for team from 1982 to 1987.

Three years ago, Rohrer — who was previously married to a woman and has two teen children — met his fiancé, Joshua Ross, 36, celebrity aesthetician and founder of SkinLab, at a West Hollywood watering hole.

Jeff Rohrer Joshua Ross

Retired Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jeff Rohrer will marry his fiancé, Joshua Ross, Sunday during a ceremony at ceremony at Wattles Mansion and Gardens in Hollywood. Rohrer will be the first former or current NFL player in a same-sex marriage. Photo: Wikipedia.

The couple, who live in Los Angeles, will marry in front of 150 guests Sunday, in a ceremony at Wattles Mansion and Gardens in Hollywood, according to the Times.

When the pair met in 2015, Rohrer was still “completely in the closet,” he told the Times. Rohrer added, “And if not for Josh, I’d still be in there.”

Phillip Zonkel can be reached at 562-294-5996 or phillip.zonkel@qvoicenews.com.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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