Bob Harper, a trainer on NBC's "The Biggest Loser," Wednesday posted a thank you to fans who supported his decision on Tuesday's show to publicly come out as gay. Harper made his announcement to help a contestant struggling to come out to his own family.
"Thank you for all the great comments, love, respect and most of all SUPPORT regarding tonight's episode of 'The Biggest Loser,' " Harper posted on his Facebook page Wednesday morning. "I felt like it was necessary to talk about being gay to the athlete on my team that has been struggling for such a long time and filling himself with self-hatred and shame. I just wanted him to know that he is really just like everybody else, and when he let go of that fear it would change the course of his life."
Contestant Raheel "Bobby" Saleem, 28, a Chicago attorney, said on the show he had "come from a very strict Catholic background" where he felt forced to hide his homosexuality "from my parents -- or at least my dad."
"I totally understand what you're talking about," Harper, who was raised on a cattle farm in Nashville, Tenn., told Saleem. "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."
"Thank you for the overwhelming support," Saleem tweeted Wednesday. "Each of you inspires me in a way I can't describe."