Speaking his truth. Season 23 Bachelor Colton Underwood came out as gay on Wednesday, April 14, and Bachelor Nation has nothing but love for him. Colton, who starred as the lead of ABC’s reality TV dating show in 2019, went public with his sexuality in an interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts.
“This year’s been a lot for a lot of people and it’s probably made a lot of people look at themselves in the year and figure out who they are,” he said. “I’ve ran from myself for a long time, I’ve hated myself for a long time. I’m gay. I came to terms with that earlier this year, and the next step in all of this was sort of letting people know. … I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life. That means the world to me.”
Colton, who split from his Bachelor winner Cassie Randolph in 2020, also referenced a “dark” place he was in because of his mixed feelings about his sexuality. “I got into a place with my personal life that was dark, and bad, and I can list a bunch of different things, but they’d all be excuses,” he said. “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 don’t, I would have rather died than, say, I’m gay. I think that was sort of my wake-up call.”
Colton made his Bachelor Nation debut on season 14 of The Bachelorette with Becca Kufrin, where he was eliminated in fourth place. He went on to star on season 5 of Bachelor in Paradise before he was named the season 23 Bachelor and became the franchise’s first virgin Bachelor. In his finale, Colton chose Cassie as winner. The couple, who didn’t get engaged, continued to date until their breakup in May 2021. In September 2020, Cassie filed a restraining order against Colton after accusing him of stalking her. (She dropped the restraining order in November 2020.) “I would like to say sorry for how things ended,” Colton told Cassie in his interview with Roberts. “I messed up. I made a lot of bad choices.”
Since his Good Morning America interview, many members of Bachelor Nation—including fans, producers and Colton’s Bachelor exes—have expressed their support for him. Ahead is how Colton Underwood’s Bachelor exes reacted to him coming out as gay.
Hannah G., who was one of Colton’s runner-ups on his Bachelor season, told People in a statement on April 14 that she wishes her ex the “very best.” “I support Colton for having the courage to finally be able to live his life authentically,” she said. “Nobody should have to hide who they really are. I’ll always wish Colton the very best and hoping he has found his peace.”
A rep for Tayshia, who was also a runner-up on Colton’s Bachelor season, told Page Six on April 14 she has no “ill will” toward her ex. “Tayshia is very happy that Colton is able to now live his life openly and without fear of sharing who he is,” the rep said.
On an episode of the “Click Bait Podcast” on April 15, Tayshia looked back on her time with Colton on The Bachelor. “I have to say, I was a little shocked at first,” she said.“But all in all, the happiness that I have for him, that he’s finally able to live his truth, and to be out, and the sense of relief that I got from his interview is something that I have to commend immensely. And I’m just so happy that he’s able to just be him.”
She continued, “Even being on his season and getting to know him pretty intimately and getting to know him in a different way than I think a lot of people have been able to, there was always something that I couldn’t get a read on with him. Like, I feel like he was not always himself, and now it all makes sense.”
She went on to confess that she felt a “wall up” with Colton when she was on The Bachelor. “I feel like when I was trying to have those serious conversations with him and when I was trying to picture a life with him down the road, there was always something that he would kind of put a wall up against because he couldn’t fully believe that,” she said.“That’s not really what he wanted and now it makes sense as to why he wasn’t able to get there with me.”
Onyeka, who was eliminated in 12th place on Colton’s Bachelor season, tweeted her support for her ex on April 14. “Happy for @colton for speaking his truth. We support you ❤️,” she wrote.
“Just a reminder that homophobic comments will not accepted or tolerated today or any day,” she continued in a second tweet. “You’ve been warned.”
Nicole, who was eliminated in 11th place on Colton’s Bachelor season, took to her Instagram Story on April 14 to share a message of support for her ex. “I’m proud of you for speaking your truth @ColtonUnderwood,” she wrote, along with a prayer hands emoji. The caption was written over a regram of a quote from Colton’s coming out interview on Good Morning America.
“I’ve ran from myself for a long time. 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,” the quote read. Nicole also tweeted, “I’m so proud of you, @colton!”
Demi, who was eliminated in 9th place on Colton’s Bachelor season and came out as queer on Bachelor in Paradise season 6, welcomed her ex into the LGBTQ community in a tweet on April 14. “Welcome to the community brother 🌈✨,” she wrote.
In an interview with E! News on April 15, Demi confessed that she was “surprised” by the news. “Of course I was surprised but not in a negative way at all, definitely in a positive way,” she said. “I support anyone who’s going to be brave enough to come out publicly. I did it myself.”
Tahzjuan, who was eliminated on night one of Colton’s Bachelor season, tweeted her support of the former Bachelor on April 14. “I commend you @colton for speaking your truth. In the world we live in today, show kindness it’s free 🤍🤍🤍,” she wrote.
In a statement to Page Six on April 14, the executive producers for The Bachelor expressed how “inspired” they were by Colton’s story. “We are so inspired by Colton Underwood’s courage to embrace and pursue his authentic self,” the statement read. The official Bachelor Instagram also shared Colton’s Good Morning America on their Instagram Story. “Check out this exclusive interview with former Bachelor Colton Underwood,” the account wrote.
Bachelor host Chris Harrison took to his Instagram on April 14 to share a message of how “proud” he is of Colton. “Very proud of you today @coltonunderwood Happy to see you stand up and openly live your truth. You have my love and support my friend,” Harrison captioned a photo of him and Colton.
To get more of an inside scoop, check out Los Angeles Times writer Amy Kaufman’s book, Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure, for a deep dive into the Bachelor franchise. The book uncovers the secrets of Bachelor Nation, from how much the Bachelor and the Bachelorette are paid to the rules contestants have to follow, that producers don’t want fans to know. It’s a must-read for any Bachelor Nation member.
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