AceShowbiz - Colton Underwood thought he was gay back when he was still in high school in Washington, Illinois. The season 23 star of "The Bachelor" got candid about his past in a new autobiography titled "The First Time", confessing that he used to question his sexuality because of pressure and bullying coming from his friends.
The 28-year-old revealed rumors about him being gay began to spread around when he decided to abstain from sex and drinking despite being the captain of the football team. "It was one of those things where you hear something so often, you start believing it," he spilled as quoted by PEOPLE. "I thought, maybe I am gay. The captain of the football team should be having sex and drinking, right? But I wasn't."
Adding that he, at the time, didn't even "know who I was," the season 14 contestant of "The Bachelorette" went on to say, "And I come from an athletic family, so it was always, 'Move on, you're good.' So that threw me off. In high school, when I was struggling with my sexuality, I'm not going to talk to my parents about it. So I internalized it."
Despite his struggles, Underwood decided to stay true to his Christian values and maintain his virginity. When he became the titular bachelor on the ABC dating contest, it led to him being dubbed the "virgin Bachelor," forcing him to once again battle the gay rumors. "They'd say, 'he's gay, he's hiding it.' No. But I've been there, done that now," he said.
Aside from discussing sexuality issues, Underwood also admitted to being a target of bullying since grade school. "I was called fatso, four eyes and four lips, because I used to lick my lips, so I would constantly have a red ring around them," he recalled. "I was a little heavy, and that, combined with being socially awkward, led to a really hard time. I didn't believe in myself. And I was super insecure."
Underwood, who is now battling coronavirus, claimed he is "done hiding who [he] really [is]", and his new book "will help people understand the choices [he's] made." As for now, he has "finally found somebody I really just want to be with" in Cassie Randolph. He added, "I want my life to be with Cassie. I know who I am. And that's really all that matters."