'The Bachelor' Star Colton Underwood Says He Wondered if He was Gay Due to Years of Bullying

Thursday March 26, 2020

In his new book, "The First Time," the former star of "The Bachelor" Colton Underwood opened up about a time in his life when he questioned his sexuality and wondered if he's gay after years of bullying, People magazine reports.

The reality star details in his memoir (its title references being labeled a virgin during his first appearance on "The Bachelorette") about growing up in the small town of Washington, Ill. where Underwood says he was bullied.

"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 writes. "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 goes on to write that in high school things got even more personal when a rumor spread that he is gay.

"It was one of those things where you hear something so often, you start believing it," he wrote. "I thought, maybe I am gay. The captain of the football team should be having sex and drinking, right? But I wasn't."

Underwood, who said he abstained from sex due to his religious beliefs, goes on to say that he searched online at the time "Am I gay?"

"I didn't know who I was," he writes, according to People. "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."

Nevertheless, things changed for him when he began his first serious relationship with Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman. After their split, he signed up for "The Bachelorette," then appeared on "Bachelor in Paradise" and from there was selected to star on Season 23 of "The Bachelor."

"Even while my season was airing, I battled the gay [rumors]," Underwood said. "They'd say, 'he's gay, he's hiding it.' No. But I've been there, done that now."

Underwood recently revealed he tested positive for COVID-19.

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