Dre Barone has been out as a gay man in the world of hockey officiating since at least 2015. This week he worked his first game in the American Hockey League, the next step in his quest to work in the NHL.

The Manitoba at Laval game last night, resulting in a 3-2 Laval win, was particularly special for Barone.

“It’s a really special moment, and the fact that it’s in Laval and I’m from Montreal, my friends and family and my partner’s going to be there,” Barone told The Big Picture with With Chris Simpson. Laval is a city adjacent to Montreal.

Barone is believed to be the first publicly out gay man to officiate an AHL game.

Other North American gay male sports officials to find success have included hockey’s Alex Valvo in the NCAA, Steve Strimling in Pac-12 football and the NBA’s Bill Kennedy.

Men’s professional hockey continues to be under-represented in the LGBTQ community, with former player Brock McGillis and current player Luke Prokop being the rare gay male athletes to come out in and around the sport.

You can read more about Barone in the coming-out article he wrote for Outsports in 2015.