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'The Bachelor' star Colton Underwood comes out as gay

Last Updated Apr 14, 2021 at 9:54 am EDT

FILE - Colton Underwood from the reality series, "The Bachelor," appears during an interview in New York on March 13, 2019. Underwood, the former football tight end who found true love and new fame on Season 23 of “The Bachelor” has revealed that he is gay. (AP Photo/Gary Gerard Hamilton, File)

Colton Underwood, the former football tight end who found fame on “The Bachelor” has revealed that he is gay.

“I’ve ran from myself for a long time. I’ve hated myself for a long time,” Underwood told “Good Morning America” on Wednesday. “And I’m gay. And I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it. And the next step in all of this was sort of letting people know.”

Underwood tried out briefly for a handful of NFL teams before his professional football career ended in 2016. Three years later, he won over Cassie Randolph on Season 23 of “The Bachelor,” a show centred on a single bachelor who is asked to select a wife from a pool of romantic interests. Underwood and Randolph never married.

Underwood said he finally got to a place where he could be honest with himself after 2020, the year that made people “look at themselves in the mirror and figure out who they are and what they’ve been running from or what they’ve been putting off in their lives.”

Before headlining “The Bachelor,” Underwood appeared on the 14th season of “The Bachelorette” and season 4 of “Bachelor in Paradise.” He has a book, titled ”The First Time.”

The Associated Press