“I think the whole goal in the book was just to sort of take ownership back of my story,” Underwood explains on Us Weekly’s “Here For the Right Reasons” podcast about the book, which was released on Tuesday, March 31. “I wanted to take ownership of my story and that starts with the title, calling it The First Time. I know that they’ve had a lot of control over my virginity and sort of that story line. And I just felt it was important that I sort of took that back.”
Underwood adds that there’s “a lot” more to him than his virginity, which he opted to share in the tell-all.
“I wanted to keep my stories, my stories. So that’s what I chose to do. And I think looking back the hardest part, writing was definitely opening up and sort of talking about early on in grade school and even in high school, getting called gay,” he tells Us. “The reason I say that is because it came back up when I was the Bachelor. I think it was very easy for fans and very easy for people to just — [when] they don’t understand something or if they don’t agree with somebody, they have to, in their mind, get from point A to point B. So point B is, ‘Oh, he’s gay. That’s why he’s a virgin. He’s just hiding it from us.’ And I understand why people might think that, but it was also a challenge of mine in grade school and in high school. I think I moved past it now.”
Underwood notes that opening up about his sexuality struggles was the most “difficult” part of the book to write.
In the memoir, the former Bachelorette contestant recalls his father discovering his Google search history, which included questions about his sexual orientation.
“He’d pulled up the history of recent Google searches, which included gay porn sites and a variety of questions: Am I gay? How do you know if you’re gay? Why don’t I like having sex with my girlfriend?” Underwood wrote. “At first, I denied responsibility. Then I owned up to having been curious. He asked if I wanted to talk about it. I said no, explaining that I’d figured things out on my own. I begged him not to tell Mom. I’m sure he did. But neither of them ever spoke about it with me. All that research, though, led me to understand that I was definitely attracted to girls.”
Underwood is currently recovering from COVID-19 at his girlfriend Cassie Randolph’s house. For more from Underwood, listen to Us Weekly’s “Here For the Right Reasons” podcast.
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