Colton Underwood Reveals His Truth on 'Good Morning America': 'I'm Gay'
Colton Underwood made a Wednesday appearance on “Good Morning America,” during which he shared his coming out story with anchor Robin Roberts.
“Obviously, this year’s been a lot for a lot of people — and it’s probably made a lot of people look themselves in the mirror and figure out who they are and what they’ve been running from or what they’ve been putting off in their lives. And, for me, I’ve ran from myself for a long time. I’ve hated myself for a long time,” said the former Bachelor. “And I’m gay.”
He added, “I came to terms with that earlier this year and I have been processing it. The next step in all of this was letting people know. I’m still nervous, but, yeah, it’s been a journey for sure.”
Despite his nerves, Colton said that he’s relieved to tell his truth. “I’m emotional — but I’m emotional in such a good, happy, positive way,” he said. “I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life and that means the world to me.”
Colton then opened up about the tough times he experienced before learning to accept his sexuality.
“I got into a place for me in my personal life that was dark and bad. I could list a bunch of different things, but they’d all be excuses. But 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,” he said. “I would have rather died than say, ‘I’m gay.’ And I think that was sort of my wakeup call.”
Asked if he ever thought about harming himself, Colton replied, “Yeah. 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. And I think, for me, that was my wakeup call, like, ‘This is your life. Take back control.’”
The franchise star said that he previously had “suicidal thoughts,” explaining that he would “[drive] my car close to a cliff, like, ‘Oh, if this goes off the cliff, it’s not that big of a deal.’”
He revealed, however, “I don’t feel that anymore.”
Colton also shared a message for the women who competed for his heart on Season 23 of “The Bachelor” in 2019.
“I thought a lot about this too, of, ‘Do I regret being the Bachelor?’ and, ‘Do I regret handling it the way that I did?’ I do. I do think I could have handled it better. I will say that,” he said. “I just wish I wouldn’t have dragged people into my own mess of figuring out who I was.”
He continued, “I genuinely mean that. But at the same time that I can sit here and 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 came out.”
In response to Colton’s revelations, the producers of the Bachelor franchise released the following statement: “We are so inspired by Colton Underwood’s courage to embrace and pursue his authentic self. As firm believers in the power of love, we celebrate Colton’s journey in the LGBTQIA+ community every step of the way.”
Elsewhere on “GMA,” Colton offered an apology to his final rose recipient, Cassie Randolph. The pair’s relationship ended tumultuously last year, with Cassie filing and then dropping a restraining order against Colton.
“I would like to say sorry for how things ended. I messed up. I made a lot of bad choices,” he said, adding that he was “in love” with Cassie. “That only made it harder and more confusing for me. I’m being very honest. I loved everything about her and it’s hard for me to articulate exactly what my emotions were going through that relationship with her because I obviously had an internal fight going on. I would just say that I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart.”
He added, “I’m sorry for any pain and emotional stress I caused. I wish it wouldn’t have happened the way that it did. I wish that I would have been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else.”
Later, Colton detailed the spiritual struggle he encountered before coming out.
“I literally 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. Finally, you’re giving me a wife, a fiancée, and then I’m going to have the kids and then I’m going to have the house and then I’m going to have all this,’” he recounted.
“I’ve known that I’ve been different since the age of six. And 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 elaborated. “By that time, I had already grown up in the Catholic church. I had gone to Catholic grade school. I had learned in the Bible that [being] gay is a ‘sin.’”
Colton said that one reason he was once fearful to tell friends and family he was gay is because of the conditioning he received throughout his football career.
“I had made mistakes in my sports and athletic career and when I’d make mistakes, that play was ‘gay,’” said the former athlete, who played football in high school and college before stints on several NFL practice squads. “‘Gay’ was always affiliated with a connotation of negativity and I think there’s a lot of things, when I look back, no wonder I held it in.”
Colton then reflected on the responses he’s received from his loved ones.
“I’ve had sort of a range of responses and the underlining most common was, like, ‘I wish you would have told me sooner,’” he said. “And when I hear that, I wish I would have had faith in my friends and my family a little bit more.”
The “First Time” author also detailed how his father, Scott Underwood, has been a pillar of support in his journey.
“My dad, I told him and his reaction was sort of the same, like, ‘I wish you would have trusted me sooner.’ But then he followed it up with, ‘How can I help you? How can I help take this off your plate? Who can I tell?’ And, to me, that was more meaningful than ‘I love you,’” Colton said. “The only reason I’m sitting down with you today is because I have the love and the support of my friends and my family.”
In a second segment, Colton said that he is “still the same” person Bachelor Nation first fell in love with after stepping out of the limo on “The Bachelorette” Season 14 in 2018.
“I’m still the same Colton everybody met on TV,” he said. “I’m still the same Colton to my friends and my 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.”
Colton looked forward to the future, sharing what he hopes to find in a partner one day.
“I still have a lot to work through. And I’ll just go on record saying that I still haven’t had an emotional connection with a man. I’ve never allowed myself to and it’s never been in my cards to let myself get there and I want to more than anything,” he said. “I’m looking for someone who can push me and challenge me in all the great ways.”
Colton concluded his interview by imparting guidance for anyone who is having trouble embracing their authentic selves.
“I still have a long way to go. I’m still learning. But if I had to go back and give anybody advice: ‘You’re going to get through it,’ is what I would tell myself,” he said. “‘Keep fighting for you. Keep choosing you every morning and when the time’s right and you’re ready, do it on your own time.’”
Watch Colton’s entire “GMA” appearance below.
For people who identify as LGBTQ, if you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, you can also contact The Trevor Project's TrevorLifeline 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386.