'Bachelor' Alum Colton Underwood Comes Out as Gay

Colton Underwood is living in his truth for the first time in his life.

In a pre-taped interview with Robin Roberts, which aired Wednesday on Good Morning America, the former Bachelor star gets “deeply personal,” revealing publicly for the first time that he is gay.  

“There is something that you want people to know, so can you tell us what is on your heart that you want to share?” Roberts asks Underwood.

“For me, I’ve ran from myself for a long time. I’ve hated myself for a long time, and I’m gay,” Underwood says. “And I came to terms with that earlier this year and I’ve been processing it. I think the next step in all of this is letting people know. I’m still nervous but, yeah, it’s been a journey for sure.” 

Underwood shares that life in quarantine this past year led him to do some soul searching and to feel comfortable publicly opening up about his sexuality for the first time. He says that his past struggle with his identity led to “suicidal thoughts.”

“I would have rather died than say, ‘I’m gay,’ and I think that was sort of my wakeup call,” he admits. “There was a moment in L.A. that I woke up and I didn’t think I was going to wake up. I didn’t have the intentions of waking up and I did. I think for me that was my wakeup call of this is your life. Take back control.”

Underwood adds that he no longer feels this way and that opening up about being gay has led him to a much better place in his life. 

“I’m emotional in such a good, happy, positive way. I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life and that means the world to me,” he shares. “I got to a place in my personal life that was dark and bad and I can list a bunch of different things, but they’d all be excuses. I think overall the reason why now is because I got to a place where I didn’t think I was ever going to share this.”

As for appearing on The Bachelor, Underwood has mixed feelings about his part in the franchise. Underwood first competed on the 14th season of The Bachelorette, before being announced as the season 23 Bachelor. The former football player’s sexuality first came up after he publicly revealed his virginity while dating Bachelorette Becca Kufrin. At the time, he remembered seeing headlines saying he was gay, closeted, or “doing this for attention.”

“I do think I could have handled it better. I just wish I wouldn’t have dragged people into my own mess of figuring out who I was,” he says of the women competing for his heart. “I genuinely mean that. But I also at the same time, I can sit here and say, ‘I’m sorry’ to all those women. I can also sit here and say, ‘Thank you,’ because without them and without The Bachelor franchise, I don’t know that this would have ever came out.”

He recalls finding out he was going to be the next Bachelor, saying, “I remember praying to God the morning I found out I was the Bachelor and thanking him for making me straight. I remember that vividly, saying, ‘Finally, you’re letting me be straight.'”

JUST IN: Former “Bachelor” star @Colton Underwood speaks his truth and comes out to @robinroberts: “I’m gay. And I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it… I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life.” https://t.co/PoYJUAPBpApic.twitter.com/isP7SptUu7

But Underwood says he’s known the truth about his sexuality for the majority of his life. 

“I’ve known that I’ve been different since the age of six. I couldn’t process it and I couldn’t put my finger on what it was until high school my freshman year when I knew I was gay,” he explains. 

While his Bachelor season didn’t end in engagement, he did end up in a relationship with Cassie Randolph. The two dated for a year and a half before their tumultuous breakup last May.

“I would like to say sorry for how things ended. I messed up. I made a lot of bad choices,” Underwood says on Wednesday of the relationship. 

He says he was in love with Cassie, which made it “harder and more confusing for me.” 

“I loved everything about her,” he continues. “It’s hard for me to articulate what my emotions are for her and what going through that relationship was because I obviously had an internal fight going on. I would just say that I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. I’m sorry for bringing pain and emotional stress I caused. I wish it wouldn’t have happened the way it did. I wish I would have been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else.” 

Underwood opened up about his virginity and how he spent some of his adolescence and early 20s questioning his sexuality in his book, The First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV. However, in an interview with ET in March 2020, Underwood credited The Bachelor for helping him realize he was straight. 

“[The show taught me] that I’m straight and I’m very, very attracted to Cassie and women — but it would have been OK if it would have been the other way too,” he said. “I think that’s the biggest message I have for people.”

At the time, he also touched on still battling gay rumors while he was with Randolph, saying, “but that’s how it was for me as a young kid in grade school and high school.”

“I can deal with them now,” he added. “People, sometimes when they don’t understand, they have to get from Point A to Point B somehow, and that’s a line that they draw. That’s just what they do to make sense of things in their mind.”

Meanwhile, in November, Colton reached a “private agreement” with Randolph, who asked the court to dismiss the restraining order she was granted against him after their breakup. Lawyers for both Randolph and Underwood said at the time that the former couple was trying to work out their problems amicably and would contact the court if they were able to do so before their next scheduled court date.

“Today Cassie asked the court to dismiss the temporary restraining order against me,” Underwood told ET in a statement at the time. “The two of us were able to reach a private agreement to address any of Cassie’s concerns. I do not believe Cassie did anything wrong in filing for the restraining orders and also believe she acted in good faith. I appreciate everyone’s respect for privacy regarding this matter.”

Underwood then removed all his posts from his Instagram. He returned to the platform in December and has only been sharing updates through his IG Stories.

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