"Love this (now) and now I love being gay," he wrote after coming out on Wednesday

By Dory Jackson
April 15, 2021 02:00 PM
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A clip of Billy Eichner's appearance on newly out Colton Underwood's season of The Bachelor has taken on new meaning.

As a celebrity guest on Underwood's season in 2019, the comedian provided the former football player with some advice during a camp-themed group date.

"I'm gay. I know that's a shock, Colton. And that, I think, you should look into," the Billy on the Street star, 42, joked on the show. "Maybe you're the first gay Bachelor and we don't even know!"

Underwood, who at the time laughed throughout the exchange, came out as gay during a sit-down interview that aired on Good Morning America Wednesday. Following the news, Eichner congratulated the reality star on embracing his sexuality while reposting the now-viral clip on Instagram.

"Congrats @coltonunderwood," Eichner captioned the post. "If you're gay, be gay! I've been gay forever and I love it!"

Underwood, 29, responded to Eichner in the comments, writing: "Love you. Love this (now) and now I love being gay." Replied Eichner: "See you at the club, Colton!"

Colton Underwood
Credit: Instagram
Colton Underwood; Billy Eichner
Credit: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic; Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Eichner also addressed the news on Twitter, calling attention to those in entertainment who came out long before it was embraced.

"Two things. Pop culture now sometimes makes it seem like every 14 year old gay boy is flying out of the closet without a care in the world. Some are. And that's INCREDIBLE. But many are not. So let's remember that," he began.

"AND let's ALSO honor and praise those in entertainment who came out years — DECADES - before it was embraced and could be used to professional advantage," he continued. "I don't mean me — I mean many others, especially those before me — that took real guts. Let's put some shine on them too."

On GMA, Underwood opened up about coming to terms with his sexuality 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. "The next step in all of this was letting people know. I'm still nervous. It's been a journey, for sure."

He added: "I'm emotional, but in such a good, happy, positive way. I'm the happiest and healthiest I've ever been in my life, and that means the world to me."

Underwood previously dated Cassie Randolph, the finalist on his season of The Bachelor. The two announced their split last May. Things took a dark turn in September, when Randolph, 25, filed for a restraining order against Underwood due to alleged harassment and stalking. She ultimately dropped the order two months later.

The ex-NFL pro, who has also dated Aly Raisman and was briefly linked to Lucy Hale, issued a public apology to Randolph on GMA.

"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'd like to say sorry for how things ended. I messed up. I made a lot of bad choices."

He continued, "I would just say I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart. I'm sorry for the pain and emotional stress I caused. I wish it wouldn't have happened the way it did. I wish that I would have been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else." 

Cassie Randolph, Colton Underwood
Cassie Randolph, Colton Underwood
| Credit: Paul Archuleta/Getty; Robin L Marshall/Getty

Moving forward, Underwood said he's looking for "someone who can push me and challenge m in all the right ways."

"I still have a long ways to go," he added. "I'm still learning."

PEOPLE also confirmed on Wednesday that Underwood is documenting his coming out journey for an upcoming Netflix series. The show will feature appearances from prominent figures within the LGBTQIA+ community.