By Terrance Turner
April 14, 2021
Former “Bachelor” star Colton Underwood revealed that he is gay in an exclusive interview with Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” today.
“Obviously, thgis year’s been a lot, for a lot of people. And it’s probalby made a lot fo people look themselves in the mirror and figure out who they are and what they’ve been running fro or what they’ve been putting off in their lives,” he began. “For me, I’ve ran from myself for a long time and hated myself for a long time…and I’m gay. I came to terms with that this year and have been processing it,” Underwood said. “The next step in all this was sort of letting people know. I’m still nervous, but it’s been a journey, for sure.”
“Through the nerves, I can see the joy,” Roberts noted.
Underwood smiled. “I’m emotional, but I’m emotional in such a good, happy, positive way,” he continued. “I’m, like, the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life. That means the world to me.”
That happiness was a long time coming. Underwood was named “The Bachelor” in 2019, after appearing on “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise” previously. He became known as the “Virgin Bachelor” because, as he says, “I fully was a virgin before that, and I could never give anybody a good enough answer about why I was a virgin. The truth is, I was the ‘Virgin Bachelor’ because I was gay, and I didn’t know how to handle it.”
Instead, he pretended. “The Bachelor” essentially requires a bevy of young women to compete for the affections of the titular character. So Colton Underwood dated a slew of eligible bachelorettes, none of whom knew the truth.
Roberts addressed the fact that both the contestants and fans of the show might feel deceived by Underwood’s behavior. “I thought a lot about this… Do I regret being ‘The Bachelor’? And handling it the way that I did?” he said. “I do think I could have handled it better, I’ll say that. I just wish I wouldn’t have dragged people into my own mess of figuring out who I was. I genuinely mean that, but also at the same time I can say ‘I’m sorry’ to all of those women, I can also say ‘thank you,’ because without them and without the ‘Bachelor’ franchise, I don’t know if this would have ever come out.”
For Colton Underwood, the franchise gave him a chance to have the life he’d prayed for. “I literally remember praying to God the morning I found out that I was ‘The Bachelor’ and thanking Him for making me straight,” he said. “I remember that vividly, of saying, ‘Finally, you’re letting me be straight. Finally, you’re giving me a wife, a fiancée, and then I’m going to have the kids, then I’m going to have the house, and then I’m going to have all this’.”
But that’s not what happened. Colton eventually chose Cassie Randolph for the “final rose”; the two were in a relationship for a year and a half. They broke up in 2020, and the aftermath got very messy, amid accusations of stalking and harassment. Randolph filed a restraining order against Underwood in September, alleging that he placed a tracking device on her car. According to People magazine, she also charged that he’d showed up unannounced at both her L.A. apartment and her parents’ house.
Underwood apologized to Randolph during the interview. “I would like to say sorry for how things ended,” he said. “I messed up. I made a lot of bad choices.”
Confirming to Roberts that he was indeed in love with Randolph, he continued, saying, “That only made it harder and more confusing for me. if I’m being very honest, I loved everything about her. And it’s hard for me to articulate exactly what my emotions were, and going through that relationship with her 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 any pain and emotional stress I caused. I wish it wouldn’t have happened the way it did. I wish that I would have been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else.”
It took years for Underwood to develop that courage, even though he’d known he was “different” since childhood. I’ve known that I’ve been different since the age of six, and I couldn’t process it and put my finger on it until high school, my freshman year, when I knew I was gay. And by that time I had already grown up in the Catholic church, I have gone to Catholic grade school, I learned in the Bible that gay is a sin. I had made mistakes in my sports and in my athletic career, and when you make mistakes, ‘that play was gay’ or that was a bad… gay was always affiliated with a connotation of negativity, and I think there’s a lot of things when I look back, like, ‘No wonder I held it in.’”
When Roberts asked what gave him the courage to come out, Underwood said, “I got into a place in my personal life that was dark and bad. 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. I would rather have died than say ‘I’m gay,’ and I think that was sort of my wake up call.”
Roberts then asked if Underwood ever thought about harming himself. He answered yes.
“There was a moment in L.A. that I woke up and I didn’t think I was going to wake up,” he said. “I didn’t have the intentions of waking up, and I did. And I think for me that was my wake up call, that, ‘This is your life. Take back control.’ I think looking back even beyond that is… even just suicidal thoughts and driving my car close to a cliff, like, ‘Oh, if this goes off the cliff, it’s not that big of a deal.’ I don’t feel that anymore.”
Having come out to his parents, family and friends, Underwood says that he couldn’t have come out publicly without their support. “I’m still the same Colton everybody met on TV. I’m still the same Colton to my friends and family. I just happen to be able to share with people now all of me. And I am proud of that. I am proud to be gay.”