Colton Underwood, a former soccer player and star of The Bachelor, came out gay in an interview with Robin Roberts that aired on Good Morning America on Wednesday.
He described 2020 as a year of self-reflection that “probably made a lot of people look in the mirror and grapple with what they were fleeing from or what they had put off in their lives”.
“I ran away from myself for a long time,” said the 29-year-old Underwood in an interview. “I hated myself for a long time. And i’m gay And I came to terms with it earlier this year and processed it, and the next step in all of this was to let people know. “
He said it was a “journey” to understand his sexuality and now he is “the happiest and healthiest” he has felt in his life. He reached a low point in 2020 that led to thoughts of self-harm and suicide.
“I got to a place where I didn’t think I would ever share this,” he said. “I would rather have died than say, ‘I’m gay. ‘And I think that was kind of a wake up call. “
In his 2020 memoir, “The First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV,” Mr. Underwood described how he was confronted by his parents about his sexuality as a teenager.
“‘You know, Colt, we’d still love and support you if you were gay,'” he remembered his mother telling him.
His father was more confrontational. “He’d looked up the history of recent Google searches that included gay porn sites and a variety of questions, ‘Am I gay? How do you know if you are gay? Why don’t I like having sex with my girlfriend? “Mr. Underwood wrote in the book. “At first I declined responsibility. Then I was curious. He asked if I wanted to talk about it. I said no and explained that I had figured things out on my own. “
Mr. Underwood appeared on The Bachelorette in 2018 and quickly became a fan favorite on the reality dating show. But Becca Kufrin, the star of the season, worried he wasn’t prepared for a lifelong engagement and eliminated him after her “hometown” date where she met his family. (The show’s producers had made Mr. Underwood’s sexual inexperience a major plot point.)
He played in “The Bachelor” in 2019, where his virginity was a central theme. Towards the end of the season, when the stress of the show increased, he said he was “done” with filming and “jumped over the fence”A resort in Portugal’s Algarve to get off the set.
After the show ended, Mr. Underwood and Cassie Randolph, 25, the top runner of his season, began dating. Ms. Randolph’s family helped him recover from Covid-19 in March, around the time his memoir was published.
The couple announced their separation in May 2020. In November, Ms. Randolph filed an injunction against Mr. Underwood, who allegedly had a tracking device attached to her car. Viewers of his segment “Good Morning America” concluded that this was the personal low he was alluding to.
The “Bachelor” franchise had its first same-sex relationship on screen in 2019 with “Bachelor in Paradise”. Demi Burnett, who appeared on Mr. Underwood’s season of “The Bachelor,” and Kristian Haggerty, who was flown into the designated midseason, eventually became engaged. (They canceled it later.)
In the 20 years of its existence, the franchise has never shown an all-gay cast.