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Bob Harper talks about his coming out

Bob Harper Bob Harper of NBC's The Biggest Loser talks to Gay Star News about coming out on the show
The TV fitness trainer went public to help self-loathing contestant know 'it's okay to be gay'

By Greg Hernandez

Harper has worked as a personal trainer for celebrity clients, including Jennifer Jason Leigh. In 1999, he was cast as an extra in Melissa Etheridge's hit video for the song "Angels Would Fall" from her album Breakdown.


Bob Harper pilatesHe is featured as a trainer on the United States version of The Biggest Loser reality television series. He has been a trainer on the NBC show since 2004. In addition to working on the show, Harper has appeared in several Biggest Loser DVD workouts. Harper also appeared on the first three seasons of the Australian version of the show.

In addition to his appearances, speaking dates, and writing duties, Harper still teaches regular classes in Los Angeles and works as a yoga instructor.

In early 2010, Harper launched, a website where subscribers can discuss weight loss and receive coaching. The success of his site led to the release of his first workout DVD series in May, titled "Bob Harper: Inside Out Method." Harper also contributes workouts to websites such as Shape magazine.

When Bob Harper, a trainer on NBC's The Biggest Loser, showed up at the Human Rights Campaign gala in Los Angeles on Saturday (22 March), it was a significant event in his life.

It marked Harper's first appearance at an LGBTI event since he came out publicly as a gay man on the show last fall.


He told Gay Star News on the arrivals carpet: 'I came here last year before I'd come out and I was asked, "Well I'm assuming that you're straight" and I'm like "Why would you assume that?"'

But there was no coming out story then. That would not happen until November when it happened within the context of his role on the show in which participants compete to lose the most weight.

Harper was working with a gay contestant who had not yet come out to his father. The trainer revealed to the contestants, and viewers everywhere, that he came out to his family at 17.

handsome Bob Harper ''I thought it was really important for me to come out,' he said. 'I'd been on my show for so many seasons and I had never found a relevant time to talk about it until I had a gay person on the show who was really, really suffering with a lot of self-loathing. I just wanted him to know that it's okay to be gay and I decided I needed to come out at that moment and it's been great ever since."

Harper added: 'People have been very supportive - mostly. It's been nice. The more upfront and honest you can be with the public, the more welcoming they are.'

Personal life

Harper was born August 18, 1965 in Nashville, Tennessee. He attended Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee.

After reading the book Skinny Bitch, Harper became a vegetarian. In 2010, he then became a vegan for a year. That same year, PETA voted him sexiest male vegetarian of the year.

Harper stopped following a vegan diet in 2011 and now eats animal products again due to wanting "something more."

Harper has spoken out against puppy mills and has adopted a black and white dog from the Animal Advocates Alliance in Baldwin Park, California. He named the dog Karl, after Karl Lagerfeld, because of the dog's color.

Harper is also Farm Sanctuary's 2010 Walk for Farm Animals national spokesman.

Harper publicly came out as gay in the seventh episode of the fifteenth season of The Biggest Loser, while talking to a contestant who was having difficulty telling his parents about his sexuality. Harper revealed he came out to his parents at 17, but that this was his first time ever addressing his sexuality publicly in his career. The episode aired on November 26, 2013.

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