In an interview with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, the 29-year-old former football player says he came to terms with being gay during the pandemic. Underwood was the 23rd Bachelor star in 2019, making headlines as the first virgin to lead the ABC reality show. In his memoir released last year, Underwood said that people since grade school would question whether he was gay and that he once questioned his sexuality after years of bullying. “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 and putting off in their lives," said Underwood, who made headlines when he contracted coronavirus in March 2020. "For me, I’ve ran from myself for a long time and I’ve hated myself for a long time, and I’m gay. I came to terms with that that earlier this year and have been processing it. The next step in all of this is sort of letting people know. I’m still nervous, but it’s been a journey for sure.” Underwood added: "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. That means the world to me.” When Roberts asked about his decision to come out, Underwood responded: “I got into a place for me 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 that was sort of my wake up call.” Underwood was also asked if there was a moment he had suicidal thoughts. He responded that he experienced a "wake-up call" one day when "I didn’t think I was going to wake up." As for the confusion the women dated on The Bachelor might feel, Underwood said: "I thought a lot about this…Do I regret being The Bachelor? And handling it the way that I did? I do think I could have handled it better, I do 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 I also at the same time I can say ‘I’m sorry’ to all of those women, I can also thank them, and without the Bachelor franchise, I don’t know if this would have ever come out.” Underwood first made headlines in 2016 when, as a player on the Oakland Raiders' practice squad, he publicly asked out U.S. Gymnastics champion Aly Raisman, whom he later dated. That led him to competing on The Bachelorette 2018 and becoming The Bachelor in 2019.
TOPICS: Colton Underwood, ABC, Netflix, The Bachelor, Coming Out Colton, Good Morning America, Andy Cohen, Billy Eichner, Cassie Randolph, Robin Roberts, Daytime TV, LGBTQ, Reality TV