Former contestants suggest Bob Harper is gay

Is Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper gay? Although he appeared as a trainer in the Queer Abs workout DVD, Bob has apparently not publicly discussed his sexual orientation, although he has discussed topics such as religion (“I love being a trainer; it’s something that just fits — it’s hearing God’s calling for me,” he told the Sun-Sentinel).

Instead, discussions of his sexuality are frequently found on blogs and message boards, like this Television Without Pity post, in which someone called givemeakleenex wrote, “I just found out that one of my best friends used to know him pretty well (squee!) and apparently he’s been out for years now. I don’t know if being on the show has pushed him back into the closet a little bit because that would be a shame. My friend says Bob is one of the nicest people he’s ever met, and what you see of him on the show is the real deal.”

Recently, however, two people who spent a significant amount of time with Bob essentially but indirectly publicly outed him. Biggest Loser 6 contestants Phillip and Amy Parham called in to the Monsters in the Morning show on Real Radio 104.1 two weeks ago (listen on iTunes, around 2:45:00), and when asked “Is Bob married?” there was a pause, and Amy said, “no,” and Phil said, “Uh, no.” He then added, “Bob likes his clothes and all that. And, uh, yeah. We’ll leave it at that. Bob’s not married.”

The host, Russ Rollins, said, “I didn’t think he was married. We got it. Winky winky,” while another show cast member fell back on gay stereotypes to get further confirmation, asking who they’d want to “design the interior of your house,” and Phillip said, “Oh it’d be Bob, for sure.”

So does this mean anything? Perhaps not. Another radio show cast member, Daniel Dennis, later said, “we didn’t figure out anything,” and of course a gay person could be married and/or not interested in interior design. Still, neither Phillip nor Amy objected to the interviewers using their suggestive comments to draw the conclusion that Bob is gay.

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Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.