Trainer Bob Harper came out as gay on national television on Tuesday's episode of The Biggest Loser. The show's longtime trainer, 48, told his family when he was 17, but he has never discussed his sexuality publicly until now.
Harper was inspired to openly talk about being gay on the reality series after meeting one of this season's contestants, Bobby Saleem, who comes from a strict Catholic family and who has been struggling about coming out to his parents. Bobby's inner struggle was made very clear this week when his parents visited The Biggest Loser ranch for the show's special Thanksgiving episode.
Harper helped Bobby by sharing his own struggle and his decision to come out to his father 31 years ago. "I really do believe that this is the right time. I want to show Bobby that he doesn't have to live in shame," Harper said. He then told Bobby, "Being gay doesn't mean being weak and being gay doesn't mean you're less than anybody else. It's just who you are."
Harper's words didn't come until after Bobby's parents had left the ranch, but Bobby tweeted his gratitude for Harper's "words that changed my path" on Tuesday. Harper also tweeted his thanks to fans for their support after the episode aired. "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!!"
Watch the full episode here: