Bob Harper has helped countless numbers of people of the hit reality television show, The Biggest Loser. He has helped people overcome self-esteem and weight issues for years, but he has just now opened up about being gay on the show. During Tuesday night’s episode, Harper came out as gay in hopes of encouraging contestant, Bobby Saleem.
Saleem came out on the show as gay, but was having a hard time coming out to his father. Harper hoped that by sharing his story, that he could positively influence him. “I haven’t talked about my sexuality on this show ever,” Harper said. “I really do believe this is the right time. I want to show Bobby that he doesn’t have to live in shame.”
Saleem said that because of his “strict Catholic background” he has had a hard time accepting that he was gay and he had an even harder time coming out. “I come from a very strict Catholic background,” said Saleem, who confessed that he was gay while on the show. “Homosexuality, in a sense, was wrong, so I kind of hid it. It’s just something I’ve kind of kept from my parents, or at least my dad. I always felt like there was something wrong with me.”
THANK YOU to everyone that supported my decision to talk about being gay w/ Bobby. I felt like it was appropriate & necessary. LOVE Y'ALL!!
— Bob Harper (@MyTrainerBob) November 27, 2013
Harper could see that Saleem was struggling, so he decided to sit down with him and share his own story. “I’m gay. I knew I very long time ago that I was gay,” Harper 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.”
Once the show was over, Harper received hundreds of tweets from supportive fans, including Saleem.
[Image via Twitter]
Thank you @MyTrainerBob for the words that have changed the path of my life. #BL15
— Bobby Saleem (@BobbyBlueBL15) November 27, 2013