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In 2019, Colton Underwood was the first 'virgin' US Bachelor. He's just come out as gay.

This post deals with suicidal ideation and might be triggering for some readers.

Colton Underwood, who was the US Bachelor in 2019, has come out as gay.

In an interview with Good Morning America on Wednesday, the former NFL star, who previously appeared on The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise, shared he came to terms with his sexuality earlier this year.

"For me, I've run from myself for a long time, I’ve hated myself for a long time," he said.

"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."

Watch a snippet from Good Morning America's Colton Underwood interview below. Post continues after video.


Video via Good Morning America.

Although Underwood shared he's the "happiest and healthiest" he's ever been, the 29-year-old admitted that it hasn't been easy.

"I got into a place with my personal life that was dark and bad. I got to a place where... I would’ve rather died than say I’m gay," he shared.

"There was a moment in LA that I woke up, and I didn’t think I was going to wake up. I didn’t have the intentions of waking up. I think that for me was my wake-up call."

In the interview, Underwood shared he "just felt different" from the age of six. However, after growing up in the Catholic Church, he struggled to accept his sexuality. 

"I used to wake up in the morning and pray for him to take the gay away. I used to pray for him to change me," he said.

"I literally remember praying to God the morning I found out I was the Bachelor and thanking him for making me straight," he continued.

"I remember that vividly, of saying like, 'Finally, you're letting me be straight. Finally, you're giving me a wife, a fiancée.'"

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According to Us WeeklyUnderwood previously opened up about his sexuality in his memoir, First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV, which was released last year.

In the book, Underwood recalled facing rumours he was gay, and telling his parents that he wasn't gay.

"[My dad] pulled up the history of recent Google searches, which included gay porn sites and a variety of questions: 'Am I gay? How do you know if you’re gay? Why don’t I like having sex with my girlfriend?'" he wrote. 

"At first, I denied responsibility. Then I owned up to having been curious. He asked if I wanted to talk about it. I said no, explaining that I’d figured things out on my own. I begged him not to tell Mum. I’m sure he did. But neither of them ever spoke about it with me. All that research, though, led me to understand that I was definitely attracted to girls."

Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph.

After appearing on Becca Kufrin's season of The Bachelorette and a brief stint on Bachelor in Paradise, Underwood's appearance on season 23 of The Bachelor US was particularly memorable.

When the season aired, Underwood's virginity was a frequent topic of conversation, with the former football star even posing as Steve Carell in The 40-Year-Old Virgin in one promotional poster for the reality show.

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In another unforgettable moment, Underwood jumped a fence to escape the Bachelor mansion after opting to choose neither of the two remaining contestants on the show.

Although Underwood initially ended his relationship with contestant Cassie Randolph during the final three, he later asked Randolph for a second chance, giving her the final rose.

Amid Underwood's announcement, the 29-year-old's relationship with Randolph is back in the spotlight.

The couple, who started dating in November 2018, ended their relationship in May 2020.

Several months later, Randolph filed a restraining order against Underwood, alleging that he had stalked her at her Los Angeles apartment and her parents' home, sent harassing text messages, repeatedly called her, and installed a tracking device on her car to monitor her location.

However, in November 2020, Randolph dropped the restraining order against Underwood.

Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph. Image: Getty.

"Today Cassie asked the court to dismiss the temporary restraining order against me," Underwood told TMZ.

"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."

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Speaking on Good Morning America this week, Underwood publicly apologised to his ex.

"I would like to say sorry for how things ended," he said. 

"I messed up. I made a lot of bad choices," he continued.

"I loved everything about her and it's hard for me to articulate exactly what my emotions were in 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."

Underwood also apologised to the contestants who appeared on his season of The Bachelor.

Listen to Mamamia's daily entertainment podcast, The Spill, below. Post continues after podcast.

"Do I regret being The Bachelor? Do I regret handling it the way that I did? I do. I do think I could’ve handled it better," he said. 

"I just wish I wouldn’t have dragged people into the mess of figuring out who I was," he added.

“But I can sit here and say I’m sorry to all of those women, and I can also say thank you because without them and without The Bachelor franchise I don’t know if this would’ve come out."

Since the interview aired, the executive producers of the reality show have praised the former football star.

"We are so inspired by Colton Underwood's courage to embrace and pursue his authentic self," a statement to Insider read. 

"As firm believers in the power of love, we celebrate Colton's journey in the LGBTQIA+ community every step of the way."

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home. 

You can also call safe steps 24/7 Family Violence Response Line on 1800 015 188 or visit www.safesteps.org.au for further information.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, 24-hour support is available through Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

Feature Image: Good Morning America.