He was 'The Bachelor' in 2019's season 23 of the popular ABC television series of the same name. Now Colton Underwood, 29, has come out as gay.
"I've ran from myself for a long time," Underwood confessed to "Good Morning America" host Robin Roberts, who is also openly gay, in an exclusive interview. "I've hated myself for a long time. And 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."
Underwood first came to the notice of "Bachelor" fans in season 14 when he was a contestant vying for the affection of star Becca Kufrin. Underwood was also featured in the spinoff series "Bachelor in Paradise."
When asked by Roberts whether he regretted misleading the ladies who competed for his love on the show, Underwood was frank.
"I've 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," he said. "I do think I could've handled it better. I'll say that."
Underwood spoke to Roberts about his journey toward self-acceptance and the dark days he endured before he learned to love himself.
"There was a moment in LA that I woke up and I didn't think I was gonna wake up," he told her. "I didn't have the intentions of waking up. And I did."
So Underwood learned to lean into his truth and cast off the shame of his Catholic upbringing. But despite coming out, Underwood insists nothing about him has really changed.
"I'm still the same Colton everybody met on TV. 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, you know? I am proud to be gay."