Colton Underwood, who first appeared on Becca Kufrin‘s season of The Bachelorette before becoming The Bachelor himself, revealed that he thought he was gay at one point in his life in his new book.
The book, titled The First Time (a nod to him being known as “The Virgin Bachelor”), dove deep as to why he had those feelings which began during his high school years in the small town of Washington, Illinois.
“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,” Underwood said in an excerpt from the book published by People on Wednesday, March 25. “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.”
Things got even worse for him in his high school years when a rumor started to circulate that was he gay. “It was one of those things where you hear something so often, you start believing it,” he said. “I thought, maybe I am gay. The captain of the football team should be having sex and drinking, right? But I wasn’t.”
“I didn’t know who I was,” he continued. “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.”
It took the former NFL player years before he was finally able to let go of those issues he’d had for so long. “Even while my season was airing, I battled the gay (rumors),” he revealed. “They’d say, ‘he’s gay, he’s hiding it.’ No. But I’ve been there, done that now.”
Colton has found love with his Bachelor contestant Cassie Randolph where the couple celebrated their 1-year anniversary together on November 15, 2019. She’s also been by his side and helping him out after he was diagnosed with COVID-19. “I finally found somebody I really just want to be with,” he said of her. “I want my life to be with Cassie. I know who I am. And that’s really all that matters.”
His book, The First Time, is available on March 31.