Paulie Calafiore, with spiky bleached hair, poses in front of a white and red background. He wears a black tee, has a dark brown beard, and wears a long cross earring on his right ear.

Paulie Calafiore has succeeded at his latest challenge: sharing his truth with the world.

The reality TV show star, who was recently eliminated from the current season of CBS’s The Challenge: USA, came out as bisexual in an interview with challenge-usa-star-paulie-calafiore-talks-his-bisexuality-says-it-feels-good-to-share-his-truth/”>GLAAD after hinting he was attracted to both men and women on the show.

“I came through athletics, so that forced me to repress who I was, sexually,” he told GLAAD. “I didn’t know if I was attracted to women, attracted to men, or if it was just like an energy thing.”

Caliafiore, who has competed on shows like MTV’s The Challenge, Ex on the Beach, and Big Brother was inspired to come out publicly after seeing how LGBTQ+ athletes like Shaun T were able to make an impact by discussing their sexualities.

“I almost felt guilty that it’s taken me this long,” he said. “I really had to change my perspective and be like, ‘Well, you know what, there might be other people that are going this exact same thing. Maybe this is what they needed to hear and what they needed to see in order to do it themselves.’”

The support of his girlfriend Cara Maria Sorbello, who also competed on The Challenge and is a member of the LGBTQ+ community, also helped. His decision to come out was his way of “breaking down all of the aspects of toxic masculinity” that he grew up with.

“Maybe there’s a younger version of me somewhere who gets to see this and [says], ‘You know what?’ I don’t have to pretend to be this because I’m an athlete,’” Calafiore explained.

In addition to bringing candidness to the athletic world, the 34-year-old also hopes to promote unity within the queer community, particularly around the stigma of bisexuality.

“This isn’t a competition of ‘Who’s actually representing this,’” he said. “It’s like, no, everything is together. It’s not just L, and then G, it’s LGBTQI+ community. … As a community, what can we do to be better and support all of our brothers and sisters?”

He reflected on fans’ reactions to the interview with a heartfelt post on Instagram, writing, “My heart is bleeding with gratitude. My soul is burning with humility. I’m so sad I had an early exit but I am so happy that I was able to show you another layer to myself and my journey.”

Check out some sexy snapshots from Caliafore’s Instagram below.

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