"Biggest Loser's" Bob Harper Comes Out as Gay to Inspire Contestant

By Peter Gicas
|  Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013  |  Updated 9:09 AM PDT
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    Bob Harper has encouraged a contestant on "The Biggest Loser" to do more than shed weight.

    During Tuesday's episode of the show, the personal trainer came out as gay to help blue team member Bobby Saleem, who revealed he was struggling to do so himself with his father.

    "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 during the program. "I want to show Bobby that he doesn't have to live in shame."

    Harper then sat down with Saleem and shared his own story with him.

    PHOTOS: Same-sex celebrity couples

    "I totally understand what you're talking about. 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," Harper said. "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."

    He added, "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."

    Saleem said he would talk to his father.

    Following the show, Harper went on Twitter after receiving a ton of positive feedback.

    "THANK YOU to everyone that supported my decision to talk about being gay w/Bobby," he tweeted. "I felt like it was appropriate &necessary. LOVE Y'ALL!!"

    PHOTOS: See more stars who are openly gay

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