After his comments on Thursday's episode of the reality competition, Calafiore came out in an interview with GLAAD on Friday.
After his emotional elimination on Thursday's episode of The Challenge: USA, Paulie Calafiore clarified some comments he made on the show and officially came out as bisexual on Friday.
"I am bisexual," Calafiore shared in a Zoom interview with GLAAD's Anthony Allen Ramos. "I feel good about finally being able to talk about this."
The interview came after Calafiore was eliminated in a one-on-one challenge with rival competitor Johnny Bananas, but there were no hard feelings between the two. In fact, Calafiore posted on Twitter that he felt "humbled and grateful" and was excited to return to the competition in the future.
Earlier in episode 3, Calafiore had a conversation with fellow contestant Tori Deal that hinted at what he later told Ramos in greater detail.
"I came through athletics, so that forced me to repress who I was, sexually," he admitted to Deal. "I didn't know if I was attracted to women, attracted to men, or if it was just like an energy thing." He added that this caused him to experience aggression, saying, "I'd be like, I need to prove that I'm the most alpha human in the world."
On Friday, however, Calafiore was ready to stand proud in his identity, and thanked fans for all their support.
"I almost felt guilty that it's taken me this long," he told Ramos. "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.'"
Watch the full interview below:
Calafiore, who has been in a relationship with fellow Challenge alum Cara Maria Sorbello for five years, later posted about the GLAAD interview on his Instagram page, once again thanking his friends and colleagues for their support throughout his coming out journey.
"So many emotions right now I haven’t even had a chance to process," he wrote. "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."
"I want to thank @thechallenge and the whole fam from @cbstv to @mtv to @bunimmurray for believing in my return," he added. "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 ❤️."
The Challenge: USA airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. PT/ET and Sundays at 9 p.m. PT/ET on CBS.