Colton Underwood is opening up about his time on The Bachelor.
Before publicly coming out as gay last year in a tell-all interview with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, the 30-year-old former football player and TV star was most known for leading the 23rd season of ABC's popular (and notoriously hetero) reality dating seriesback in 2019. Fast forward to present day, and now Underwood, who is out of the closet and newly engaged to boyfriend and political strategist Jordan C. Brown, is going on the record about how appearing on the show was an attempt to hide sexuality.
In a recent appearance on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live talk show hosted by Andy Cohen, Underwood opened up about social media, specifically Instagram, was a way for him to explore his identity and sexuality while he was still in the closet.
"So Instagram was like a portal?" the Bravo host and producer asked.
"Instagram was my way to look without being caught," Underwood replied.
"All of the cover-ups and praying, and trying self-conversion therapy on myself by becoming The Bachelor, I pretty much tried everything to be straight, and it didn't work," he continued later in the interview when asked by Cohen if he was using the gay hookup app Grindr before he was publicly out, saying how he tried multiple things to suppress his sexuality. "I just love being gay now."
Underwood has come a long way since his closeted Bachelor days.
After starring in the Netflix docuseries Coming Out Colton, which explored his journey coming out as gay to the world and to those closest to him in his life, Underwood announced that he was engaged to his boyfriend, Jordan C. Brown, in an Instagram post earlier this month.
"Jordan has been my rock throughout the last year," Underwood said about his relationship and engagement with Brown during a recent Q&A with fans on Amazon Live. "He has been supportive, incredible, and loving and kind...I could go on and on for hours. We were celebrating my 30th birthday and my family was in town and we hosted it at my house. Then we did a little getaway trip to Big Sur and it turned out at Big Sur was the surprise engagement. I couldn't be happier and more excited to have that time with him. We were camping so it was in the outdoors, totally our vibe and it was honestly the best weekend ever."
"We met through mutual friends and originally I wasn't looking for anything," Underwood also revealed about he and Brown (who have been linked together since last summer) first met. "I was working on myself at the time but gradually it became a connection and something I couldn't deny. We took our time and kept it private, we are still keeping aspects of it private, which I think is healthy and important."
Though his Bachelor days are now behind him, Underwood isn't saying goodbye to reality TV just yet, as he is taking part in CBS' newest, celebrity-filled, Survivor-esque competition series Beyond the Edge, which premieres next week on March 16.
"Excited to be part of the new @cbstv reality series #BeyondTheEdge!" Underwood wrote on Instagram in February about his involvement with the show in a post to his followers. "It was an experience unlike any other. Can't wait for you to watch, starting March 16th!"
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