elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Bob Paris, Rod Jackson & Brian LeFurgey

Bob Paris (born Robert Clark Paris on December 14, 1959) is an American-Canadian writer, actor, public speaker, civil rights activist and former professional bodybuilder. Paris was the 1983 NPC American National and IFBB World Bodybuilding Champion, Mr. Universe. In the July 1989 issue of Ironman, Paris came out in the media as a gay man. He was the world’s first male professional athlete, in any sport, to come out in the media while still an active competitor in his sport. Today, Paris lives with his spouse, Brian LeFurgey, on an island near Vancouver, British Columbia. Together since 1996, Bob and Brian were legally married after Canada equalized the marriage laws in 2003.

In 1989, Bob Paris, at the time a former Mr. Universe and Mr. America bodybuilder, married (in a Unitarian service) Rod Jackson, an amateur bodybuilder and Playgirl model. They even hyphenated their names. It was in 1989, when same-sex marriage was basically unheard of. Bob and Rod’s public announcement, their minor celebrity, and the fact that they were not stereotypically gay, all blended together to create a media frenzy. They even appeared on Oprah. They split in 1996 and after that, no one knows, neither Paris, what is of Rod Jackson.

Paris was born and grew up in Southern Indiana. He was both an artistic and athletic young man. He won National Scholastic awards for his drawings and paintings, was active in his school’s theater group and debate team and he wrote short stories in his spare time. From an early age, he was an avid outdoorsman who dedicated a large portion of his time to hiking and backpacking through the wooded hills of Indiana’s Hoosier National Forest and other nearby wilderness areas. He was also a dedicated bicyclist. He played high school football and was active in both track and field and golf. Paris often said that it was this blending of his artistic and athletic sides that initially lead him to pursue bodybuilding.

In 2006, Flex Magazine ranked Bob Paris the most aesthetic athlete in the history of bodybuilding. Renowned for both his aesthetics and artistic approach toward the sport, he was also a dedicated advocate for the rights of athletes and an outspoken voice in the push for drug testing at the professional level. He retired from bodybuilding in 1991.

@Herb Ritts. Bob Paris and Rod Jackson

In addition to his writing career, Bob Paris remains a civil rights advocate and public speaker. He is also a model and a classically trained theatre actor. Since rising to fame in the early eighties, Bob Paris has graced the covers of scores of magazines worldwide.

On October 10, 1998, he made his New York stage debut, starring at Carnegie Hall opposite Bea Arthur, Sandy Duncan, Michael Jeter, Philip Bosco, Alice Ripley and Tyne Daly in the Broadway musical, Jubilee as the character Mowgli.

In 2009, he performed in a recurring role on the first season of the ABC Television series, Defying Gravity.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Paris

Further Readings:

Gorilla Suit: My Adventures in Bodybuilding by Bob Paris
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (September 1997)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312168551
ISBN-13: 978-0312168551
Amazon: Gorilla Suit: My Adventures in Bodybuilding

"I built my American dream one rep at a time," says Bob Paris in Gorilla Suit, an unguarded memoir of his rise to the top of the world of professional bodybuilding.

This is the first-ever, honest, behind-the-scenes look into the world of professional bodybuilding and what the actual life of a bodybuilder is like. Paris show us bodies to the limit, and beyond, and discusses the price bodybuilders pay for this perfection, which includes the use of dangerous growth drugs. Paris also looks at the driving forces behind the business of bodybuilding, including the extraordinary story of the Weider brothers.

This is a story about chasing a dream, being willing to do anything to get that dream, and then growing frustrated with the world that dream is lived in. It is the discovery that after years of climbing a mountain and finally reaching the top, perhaps on reconsideration it was the wrong mountain to begin with.

Duo: Herb Ritts photographs, Bob Paris & Rod Jackson by Herb Ritts
Publisher: Twins Palms Publishers; First Edition edition (1991)
Language: English
ASIN: B0006F3858
Amazon: Duo: Herb Ritts photographs, Bob Paris & Rod Jackson

More LGBT Couples at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance

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Tags: gay classics, persistent voices

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