Paulie Calafiore, who just got eliminated from MTV’s “The Challenge: USA,” is coming out as bisexual.
Following his emotional exit from The Challenge: USA on Thursday, the 34-year-old television personality set the record straight on his sexuality after alluding to the fact he may not identify as heterosexual.
“I am bisexual,” Calafiore told GLAAD’s Anthony Allen Ramos in a Zoom interview. “I feel good about finally being able to talk about this.”
“I almost felt guilty that it’s taken me this long,” he continued. “And I really had to change my perspective and be like, ‘Well, you know there might be other people that are going through this exact same thing… and maybe this is what they needed to hear and what they needed to see in order to do it themselves.’”
“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,'” he added.
Prior to his elimination in episode 3, Calafiore — who has been in a relationship with fellow Challenge alum Cara Maria Sorbello for five years — hinted at his bisexuality while speaking to his fellow contestant Tori Deal.
“I came through athletics, so that forced me to repress who I was, sexually,” he confessed. “I didn’t know if I was attracted to women, attracted to men, or if it was just like an energy thing. I’d be like, ‘I need to prove that I’m the most alpha human in the world.’”
Once his time on the competitive reality show came to a close, Calafiore’s statement shared to X (formerly known as Twitter) further corroborated the story after he claimed he didn’t expect to disclose “such personal attributes about who I am and my sexuality.”
“Returning to The Challenge was an unexpected rollercoaster in many ways,” he wrote in a notes app screenshot. “I didn’t expect to leave so early, for starters (lol) – but even better, I didn’t expect to make so many friends, repair relationships and reveal such personal attributes about who I am and my sexuality.”
“While I wish I could have stayed longer, I know I’ll see you all again real soon! Stay tuned for what’s to come,” he teased, adding a purple devil emoji and a red heart.
Thank you all so much! The support has been incredible since DAY ONE! I am truly humbled and grateful. I thought this season was mine to win, but that man @johnnybananas got 7 rings for a reason! That first win is coming, I can’t wait to run it back ???? #TheChallengeUSA2 pic.twitter.com/wRraa2LPlN
— Paulie Calafiore (@PaulCalafiore_) August 18, 2023
He also addressed the GLAAD interview in an Instagram post on Friday, writing in the caption: “So many emotions right now I haven’t even had a chance to process. 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 show you another layer to myself and my journey.”
“To all the new friendships I’ve made, to all the old friendships repaired. I love all of you and I can’t wait to show you how much stronger I come back. The support is so beautiful,” he continued, in part. “A special thank you to @anthonyramosah & @glaad for helping me share my story! I appreciate the support through the years @shaunt & @frankiejgrande . I finally feel seen and free”
In response to his post, Calafiore’s girlfriend left a supportive message in the comments. “Always by your side.” Sorbello wrote.
The Challenge: USA airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. PT/ET and Sundays at 9 p.m. PT/ET on CBS.