Colton Underwood, the star of The Bachelor season 23 and former football player, came out as gay this morning on Good Morning America.
“For me, I’ve ran from myself for a long time. I’ve hated myself for a long time. I’m gay. And I came to terms with that earlier this year, and have been processing it. And, the next step in all of this was sort of letting people know. I’m still nervous, but it’s been a journey for sure,” he told Robin Roberts.
“I’m emotional but I’m emotional in such a good, happy, positive way. I’m, like, the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life, and that means the world to me,” he added.
On Good Morning America, Colton said he was talking about his sexual orientation now “because I got to a place where I didn’t think I was ever going to share this. I would have rather died than say, I’m gay, and I think that was my wake-up call,” he said, acknowledging that he had “suicidal thoughts” but “I don’t feel that anymore.” (If you are having similar thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or text HOME to 741741.)
“I got into a place for me in my personal life that was dark and bad, and I can list a bunch of different things, but they’d all be excuses,” he said earlier in the interview. That seemed to be a reference to what happened late last summer.
That’s when Cassie Randolph, who Colton chose at the end of The Bachelor season 23, was granted a temporary restraining order against Colton, identifying the “dates of abuse” as early as June 2020. The filing for the order said:
“Since their breakup. Mr. Underwood has been stalking and harassing Ms. Randolph. He has sent her unsettling text messages, repeatedly called her, and placed a tracking device on her vehicle to track her whereabouts.”
The restraining order was later dropped and Colton told People, “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.”
On Good Morning America, Colton said, “I’d like to say sorry for how things ended. I messed up. I made a lot of bad choices … I wish I would have been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else.”
Robin Roberts asked about his time on The Bachelor, and said people might think “you misled the public and misled those women from that season.”
“Do I regret being The Bachelor, and do I regret handling it the way I did? I do,” Colton said. “I just wish I wouldn’t have dragged people into my own mess of figuring out who I was.”
Colton’s season ended with him fleeing from the production, which makes sense considering everything that happened. But Colton also said that “without [the women on his season] and without The Bachelor franchise, I don’t know if this would have ever came out.”
During Colton’s season, comedian Billy Eichner showed up for a group date, and during and conversation with Colton (as Chris Harrison watched), “I’m gay—I know that’s a shock, Colton. And that, I think, you should look into. Maybe you’re the first gay Bachelor and we don’t even know!”
Colton did a web search for ‘How do you know if you’re gay?’
Colton said he knew he was different at age six but knew he was gay in ninth grade, but Catholicism
In his 2020 memoir, The First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV, Colton wrote, “…I’d heard the rumors, too, but they were just that, rumors. I was straight. It wasn’t my first time addressing that subject.”
He admits that, “in ninth grade, I ordered porn on TV, straight and gay,” and also Googled “Am I gay? How do you know if you’re gay? Why don’t I like having sex with my girlfriend? At first, I denied responsibility. Then I owned up to having been curious.”
Colton also wrote:
Sometimes I wonder if my life would have been much easier if I had been gay. Maybe it would’ve helped me to know myself better and sooner. Maybe I wouldn’t have stayed a virgin. Maybe I wouldn’t have asked Who am I? as often as I did and suffered as much angst because I didn’t have an answer. Identity was such a big question mark with me. Yes, I was a football player. But what else was I? Was there anything more?