The Bachelor star Colton Underwood, who once said that homophobic bullying at school made him question his sexuality, has unequivocally come out as straight, shooting down rumours that he’s gay
Underwood, 28, broke-up with Cassie Randolph, the season 23 winner, in June 2020 after two years. The high-profile split has been shrouded in mystery since.
Addressing the swirling rumours around their break-up as well as his sexuality, Underwood told the Reality Steve podcast published Thursday (13 August): “I’m not gay.”
The speculation was sparked when The First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV author told People in March about the bullying he endured throughout his childhood and adolescence.
In the schoolyard and classrooms, Underwood explained that many people thought he was gay, prompting him to question whether he might be.
The Bachelor star: ‘Love is love at the end of the day.’
“In regards to those rumours,” he explained, “I addressed it pretty heavily in the book [The First Time] and I’ve gone through it throughout my whole entire life.
“And of course, it doesn’t help being on a national stage for the mental health aspect.
Colton Underwood from Bachelor in Paradise attends the Disney ABC Television TCA Summer Press Tour, August 7, 2018 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
“But the bottom line is I’m not gay. I have love and support for anybody in the LGBT+ community and support that, and love is love at the end of the day.”
He added: “I’m sort of used to it at this point, but I don’t think I’m ever going to give a good enough answer.
“I’m always going to almost feel like I’m on defence probably for a very long time.”
Colton Underwood was bullied by classmates who thought he was gay.
When he was in high school, the former footballer faced rumours that he was secretly gay. Rumours circulated because of his decision to abstain from sex.
“It was one of those things where you hear something so often, you start believing it,” he said.
“I thought, ‘Maybe I am gay.’ The captain of the football team should be having sex and drinking, right? But I wasn’t.”
He said he questioned his sexual orientation as far back as grade school and even searched “am I gay?” online.
“I didn’t know who I was, and I come from an athletic family, so it was always, ‘Move on, you’re good.’
“So, that threw me off. In high school, when I was struggling with my sexuality, I’m not going to talk to my parents about it. So I internalised it.”