The Bachelor alum Colton Underwood has revealed he previously questioned his sexuality for years as bullies taunted him for being a virgin.
“There are a lot of stories and experiences that will help people understand the choices I’ve made. And I’m done hiding who I really am,” Colton wrote in his new book The First Time, which hits shelves March 31, according to People.
The Bachelor’s Season 23 star said the bullying began when he was in grade school in the small town of Washington, IL, but at that time, children harped on his weight and appearance.
“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,” Colton shared.
“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.”
But things only got worse for Colton when he became a high school student and abstained from sex in his teenage years.
Though Colton credited his abstinence to his faith and values, people started accusing him of being gay.
“It was one of those things where you hear something so often, you start believing it,” Colton admitted.
“I thought, maybe I am gay. The captain of the football team should be having sex and drinking, right? But I wasn’t.”
But Colton didn’t need others to make him question himself. He wrote in his book he had searched online, “Am I gay?” as far back as grade school, People reported.
“I didn’t know who I was,” Colton revealed.
“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.”
However, Colton apparently found himself and became secure in what he wanted through his first serious relationship with Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman.
And once they broke up, Colton competed for Becca Kufrin’s heart on The Bachelorette’s fourteenth season in 2018. Colton fell in love but got eliminated in fourth place, and then after a brief fling with Tia Booth on Bachelor in Paradise that year, he signed up to become The Bachelor’s Season 23 star.
During his The Bachelor stint, Colton reportedly strived to overcome his past and let go of the issues that had plagued him for so many years.
“Even while my season was airing, I battled the gay [rumors],” Colton wrote in his book.
“They’d say, ‘he’s gay, he’s hiding it.’ No. But I’ve been there, done that now.”
But Colton fell head-over-heels in love with Cassie Randolph while filming The Bachelor in late 2018.
In fact, the former professional football player was so sold on Cassie that he ended his season prematurely and selected her as his winner before even finishing his round of overnight Fantasy Suite dates.
Colton had built up a lot of anticipation for his Fantasy Suite date with Cassie, and it seemed he was ready and willing to lose his virginity to her during their romantic evening.
However, Cassie attempted to quit The Bachelor at that time because she didn’t feel ready to get engaged after dating Colton for such a short period of time.
Instead of letting Cassie go and ending up with one of his other remaining bachelorettes, Tayshia Adams or Hannah Godwin — who were both in love with Colton at this stage in the game — Colton nearly ended production because he was so devastated and hung up on Cassie.
Colton therefore fought for Cassie to stay and ultimately convinced her to give him another chance, as long as the pressure of an engagement would be off the table for her.
Cassie then proceeded to meet Colton’s family on the show and fall in love with him once filming wrapped.
“I finally found somebody I really just want to be with,” Colton said. “I want my life to be with Cassie. I know who I am. And that’s really all that matters.”
Colton is currently trying to recover from coronavirus and Cassie is taking care of him at her family’s home in Huntington Beach, CA. Their relationship appears to be stronger than ever and inching towards an engagement.