“Colton has struggled with his sexuality his entire life, but now he feels he can finally breathe,” the insider exclusively tells Us, adding that “telling his parents earlier in the year” was the “hardest part” for the 29-year-old former Bachelor.
The source adds, “He was stressed out in the days leading up to [telling his mom and dad], much more than he was for the GMA interview. Colton was excited for the GMA interview because it was his last step toward being able to live his life the way he wants to.”
Underwood made headlines on Wednesday, April 14, when he opened up to Robin Roberts about his struggles with his sexuality, revealing he’s known he was “different” since he was 6 years old.
“I couldn’t process it and I couldn’t put my finger on what it was until high school, my freshman year when I knew I was gay,” he said. “By that time, I had already grown up in the Catholic Church, I had gone to Catholic grade school. I had learned in the Bible that [being] gay is a sin.”
During his interview with Roberts, 60, the journalist revealed that Underwood’s father, Scott, was by his side.
“I’ve had sort of a range of responses. The underlining, most common one was, ‘I wish you would’ve told me sooner,’ and when I hear that, I wish I would’ve had faith in my friends and family a little bit more,” Underwood said. “My dad, when I told him that, his reaction was sort of the same, ‘I wish you would’ve trusted me sooner,’ but then he followed it up with, ‘How I can help you? How can I take this off your plate? Who can I tell?’ And to me, that was more meaningful than, ‘I love you.’”
The former NFL player appeared on season 14 of The Bachelorette and season 5 of Bachelor in Paradise before he was named the season 23 Bachelor. While he didn’t propose to winner Cassie Randolph, the twosome dated for more than one year before calling it quits in May 2020. Underwood maintained he “loved” Randolph, 25, during his GMA interview.
“That only made it harder and more confusing for me. If I’m being very honest, I loved everything about her,” he said. “It’s hard to articulate exactly what my emotions were going through [during] that relationship because I obviously had an internal fight going on. I would just say that 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 I would’ve been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else.”
Sources told Us, meanwhile, that Randolph is “still processing” Underwood’s announcement, noting that she was “not aware” that he was coming out.