“Biggest Loser” Trainer Bob Harper Comes Out Publicly To Inspire Contestant


There’s nothing Bob Harper, the coach on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, won’t do to help his contestants. On Tuesday’s episode of the reality program, Harper came out publicly as gay to encourage contestant Bobby Saleem, who comes from a very strict Catholic family, to speak openly about his own sexual orientation to his father.

The 48-year-old personal trainer, who’s never denied his sexual orientation but hadn’t discussed it on the television program, was moved by Saleem’s struggle to come out to his dad.

“I haven’t talked about my sexuality on this show ever, and now meeting Bobby, I really do believe this is the right time,” Harper said on camera. “I want to show Bobby that he doesn’t have to live in shame.”

Harper then decided to share his own story with Saleem and viewers.

“I’m gay. I knew I very long time ago that I was gay,” Harper revealed. “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.”

Saleem said he would come out to his father.

Harper received an outpouring of support from viewers and tweeted a message to fans:


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  • damienbasile

    Dreams do come true. Now only if Bob would grow his beard back. That would make this sexy amazing inspiring man that much more. :) Glad to see more people coming out to inspire others!!

  • Spike

    Lucky boyfriend.

  • sfbeast

    Never watched the show, but whenever I saw the commercials for it I always thought he was gay. Glad he came out on TV.

  • Caleb in SC

    I am proud of my future husband!!!

  • stfallon1028

    Finally! I’ve never watched this show but I do know that he is the cutest

  • KDub

    Hey Bob, everyone with eyes and ears already knew, buddy.

  • AEH

    I thought he already came out? His wiki listed him as gay months ago.

  • lather

    @AEH: Unfortunately coming out is a process that usually have to do many times. Whether it’s someone not believing you, like a parent, new friends, colleagues. It appears he didn’t it more to help his client than to bring attention to himself.

  • viveutvivas

    @Caleb in SC, hands off my boy biaaatch!

  • Dxley

    Who didn’t know this? I was waiting for him to come out all along but I’m glad he did. I never once doubted the fact that he’s gay. The same thing happened when I was like 15 and I saw Ricky Martin and immediately I was like “he’s gay”, and I’m ALWAYS proven right!!!

    Congrats, Bob. Welcome to our struggle and our community!!! I’m just so glad he chose to be honest at long last. I have hope now that things are finally getting better.

    *sniff* I swear I wasn’t crying. This room is just dusty!!!

  • Franco C.

    Good for him!

  • hotshot70

    You mean this was supposed to be a surprise? I knew he was gay before that show was popular. That show is so fake. Jillian cheated to help her team (typical lesbian) and the people usually end up fat again after leaving. I find that whole show disgusting. “step right up! Come see that fatties. Watch as we make them run and jump and do embarassing stunts for your entertainment!” Its a form of abuse.

  • Joetx

    I remember watching on TV (I think it was “The Doctors) where Jillian Michaels said that she had met the love of her life, Bob Harper, on the show. She went on & on about their relationship. That made me scratch my head b/c I thought I had read rumors on the internet that they were both gay. Fast forward several months later, she comes out & now so does he. So she was definitely lying. Was he on the lie too?

  • Joetx

    @hotshot70: Cheating is typical of lesbians???

    You said you find the show disgusting.

    What I find disgusting is gay men who are prejudicial towards lesbians.

  • jwtraveler

    He has a nice body, but I’ll take Jillian.

  • averageguy40

    He came out when he was 17 (31 years ago). I don’t think he meant it to be a big surprise.

  • Rockery

    I haven’t seen that show in years and never really watched it, but once I heard his voice, saw his mannerisms I knew he was gay. Not to mention his lisp was in OVERDRIVE.


    You fell for that? I think everyone knows they made up that story to create a reason to bring Reuben back. The ratings dropped dramatically when he left, and this was the way to get him back without it seeming fishy. I don’t watch the show and even I know that

  • nikkii_a

    heres hoping that by doing as he did, it will encourage all other closeted celebrites to come out.

    the only person they’re harming by not coming out is themselves.
    the sooner more prominent people come out; the sooner the haters
    in this country will realize that we’re no different from anybody
    else except for who we love.

  • Caleb in SC

    @viveutvivas: I see a gay version of The Hunger Games. Bring it!

  • GayBacon

    And better yet, he was a gay FATTY who worked hard to get into the shape he’s in now, to help others as well. Now off to stuff my face for Thanksgiving lol

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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