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Bob Paris
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    (December 14, 1959- )
    Born in Columbus, Indiana
    First major bodybuilder to 'come out' as a gay man
    Winner of the 1983 Mr Universe contest
    Books include: 'Beyond Built: Bob Paris' Guide to Achieving the Ultimate Look,' 'Natural Fitness,' 'Generation Queer: A Gay Man's Quest for Hope, Love & Justice' and 'Prime: The Complete Guide to Being Fit, Looking Good, Feeling Great'
    Appeared (uncredited) in the movie, 'Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey' and starred in the TV series 'Defying Gravity'
    His story doesn't exactly dispel the stereotype of bodybuilders and their fans as being gay.
    He waited until 1989 (well after his prime) to come out.
    He was never a threat to win bodybuilding's premier title, the Mr Olympia contest with his best showing being a seventh place finish in 1984, and he actually never won a professional bodybuilding event.
    At a relatively lean (for bodybuilding) 6 foot, 230 pounds, he lacked the sheer bulk to contend for bodybuilding's top titles.
    He would tear the nameplates off his trophies and keep them, throwing the rest of the trophy away.
    He either quit or washed out (accounts vary) of Marine Corps boot camp.
    He risked considerable income from endorsement deals to come out of the closet.
    Throughout his career and afterwards, he was a fierce critic of the use of drugs and steroids in bodybuilding and strongly promotes clean and natural living.
    His symmetrical style of bodybuilding created a physique that most of the public would appreciate versus the grossly bulked up look that the majority of bodybuilders sport or aspire to, and in 2006 FLEX magazine named him the most 'aesthetic athlete in the history of bodybuilding.'
    He is a very capable writer.
    He has been very open about his journey of self-discovery since coming out.
    He likes to perform in regional theater.
    Despite never winning a professional title, he was a popular model among bodybuilding merchandisers for his natural-looking build and clean drug-free reputation, most whom stuck by him after his coming out.

Credit: tom_jeffords

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