Colton Underwood Says 'I Still Haven't Had an Emotional Connection with a Man' After Coming Out

The former Bachelor came out as gay during a sit-down interview that aired on Good Morning America Wednesday

Colton Underwood has come out as gay.

The former Bachelor star, 29, shared the news during a sit-down interview with Robin Roberts that aired on Good Morning America Wednesday.

During the personal conversation, titled "Colton Underwood: In His Own Words," Underwood, 29, said he feels "proud" of his sexuality after a difficult journey coming to terms with his truth.

"I used to wake up in the morning and pray [to God] to take the gay away," he admitted. "I used to pray for him to change me, and I can now wake up and pray to God and I can actually have faith and go into church and be present."

Listen below to the episode of our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day for more on Colton Underwood.

Throughout his time on The Bachelor, Underwood was dubbed the so-called "virgin Bachelor," and virginity became a frequent talking point on the show.

"One thing about being labeled the virgin Bachelor is that I fully was a virgin and I could never give anyone a good enough answer as for why I was a virgin," he said. "The truth is I was a virgin Bachelor because I was gay, and I didn't know how to handle it."

Moving forward, Underwood said he "still has a lot to work through."

"I still haven't had an emotional connection with a man, I've never allowed myself to. It's never been in my cards to let myself get there. I want to more than anything," he told Roberts. "I'm looking for someone who can push me and challenge me in all the right ways. I still have a long ways to go. I'm still learning."

"If I had to go back and give anyone advice, it would be you're going to get through it," he continued. "Keep choosing you. I would tell myself, keep choosing you every morning. When the time is right and you're ready, do it on your own time."

The former football player, who said he had known he was "different since the age of 6," told Roberts that he "came to terms" with his sexuality earlier this year after a long period of self-reflection.

"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," he said. "I'm emotional, but in such a good, happy, positive way. I'm the happiest and healthiest I've ever been in my life."

Underwood led season 23 of the ABC dating show in 2019, ultimately giving his final rose to contestant Cassie Randolph, though they didn't get engaged. They dated until announcing their split in May 2020.

"Do I regret being the Bachelor and do I regret handling it the way that I did? I do," Underwood said on GMA. "I do think I could have handled it better. I just wish I wouldn't have dragged people into my own mess of figuring out who I was. I genuinely mean that."

"But also, at the same time that I can sit here and say I'm sorry to all of those women, I can also say thank you," he added. "Because without them and without the Bachelor franchise, I don't know that this would have ever came out."

Jim Wright

Will you accept this rose? Sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly Bachelor Nation newsletter to get the latest news on The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and everything in between.

Underwood also touched on his relationship with Randolph, 25. Things between them took a dark turn months after they announced their split, when Randolph was granted a restraining order against Underwood in September of last year due to alleged harassment and stalking. She ultimately dropped the order in November.

"I would like to say sorry for how things ended," he told Roberts. "I messed up. I made a lot of bad choices."

He went on to say that he was in love with Randolph during their relationship, adding, "And that only made it harder and more confusing for me. I loved everything about her."

"It's hard for me to articulate exactly what my emotions were going through that relationship with her, because I obviously had an internal fight going on," he said. "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've been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else."

Related Articles