Bob Harper admitted to a Biggest Loser contestant that he is gay, on the Nov. 26 episode of the NBC reality weight loss show. Harper, 48, revealed his sexuality to encourage Bobby Saleem.
Saleem came out as gay on the show, but struggled to break the news of his sexuality to his father. To help encourage Saleem to come out to his dad, the personal trainer decided to share his own story.
“I haven’t talked about my sexuality on this show ever,” Harper explained in a confessional. “And now, meeting Bobby, I really do believe this is the right time. I want to show Bobby that he doesn’t have to live in shame.”
So, Harper sat down with Saleem on camera and publicly came out for the first time. “I’m gay. I knew I very long time ago that I was gay,” the Tennessee native said. “When I came out — when I was 17 years old — it was one of those things where I realized that there was going to be so many obstacles, but being gay doesn’t mean being weak. And being gay doesn’t mean that you are less than anybody else. It’s just who you are.”
After the show aired Tuesday night, Harper was flooded with support from fans on Twitter. “THANK YOU to everyone that supported my decision to talk about being gay w/ Bobby,” he tweeted. “I felt like it was appropriate & necessary. LOVE Y’ALL!!”
Saleem also thanked Harper on Twitter Tuesday, writing, “Thank you @MyTrainerBob for the words that have changed the path of my life.”