Bob Harper comes out as gay on Biggest Loser

On last night’s The Biggest Loser, Bob Harper publicly revealed he’s gay for the first time, though it’s long been well-known, and not just because he’s the trainer on the Queer Abs workout DVD or said he’s been out since he was 17. It’s just never something he’s talked about on the NBC reality competition.

As TODAY.com notes, Bob came out to his team member Bobby Saleem, who was struggling with coming out to his father, who was visiting the ranch. Bob first told the cameras, “I haven’t talked about my sexuality on this show EVER. … I really do believe this is the right time. I want to show Bobby that he doesn’t have to live in shame.”

He told Bobby, “I totally get it — I’m gay. I knew a very long time ago that I was gay, and the family that I grew up around was very much the same in that way — you know, there was so much repression there. I think that when I came out, when I was 17 years old, it was one of those kind of things where I realized there were so many obstacles. But being gay doesn’t mean being weak; being gay doesn’t mean that you are less than anybody else. It’s just who you are.”

Bob later wrote on Twitter, “I felt like it was appropriate & necessary,” and this morning posted a letter thank fans for their “great comments, love, respect and most of all, SUPPORT.”

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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.