Colton Underwood has gone into detail about coming to terms with his sexuality, from “homoerotic” experiences in the locker room to virgin status on The Bachelor.

The television personality recently appeared on Alexandra Cooper’s hit podcast Call Her Daddy, where he shared further details about his coming out journey.

Underwood told the host that he “knew” he was “different” from the age of six: “I wasn’t like the other kids. I wasn’t like the other boys in my class.

“And I couldn’t really fully process it until high school, to understand that, ‘Hey, I’m attracted to men.'”

He continued to explain that, due to attending a Catholic school, he was taught heteronormative ideals such as “boys were supposed to be into girls, and girls were supposed to be into boys”.

Before starring in The Bachelor, Underwood was a professional football player for Illinois State, before being signed by San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent.

With the lack of out football players at the time (and still to this day), he didn’t feel comfortable being open about his sexuality with his teammates, saying he didn’t want to be a “distraction” to them or his coach.

“And other players in the locker room weren’t very friendly,” he reminisced. “The locker room is extremely homophobic, but it’s also very homoerotic.

“It’s like slapping in the ass, commenting on each other’s dicks, and then all of a sudden being called a f*g and queer and all these derogatory [words]. You’re like, ‘Wait… hold on.’

Instagram: @coltonunderwood

“Especially for someone in the closet you’re like, ‘This is really messed up.'”

After Cooper asked Underwood to expand on his experiences in the locker room, he said he did a lot of “hiding”: “I wouldn’t shower after practice because I was afraid of getting turned on in the locker room or shower.”

Although he said he wasn’t attracted to any of his teammates, he wanted to avoid any chance of being outed, “so I wouldn’t shower with the rest of the team. I would leave, change in a corner or a stall.”

As well as the locker room, he would avoid partying, saying he wouldn’t drink at his own parties because he was “afraid that if I got drunk I would be gay”.

Underwood later appeared on the 14th season of The Bachelorette, before leading the 23rd season of The Bachelor. During his time on the franchise, he was known as the “Virgin Bachelor”.

However, he admitted to Cooper that he first hooked up with another man on his 21st birthday.

“I only hooked up with guys when I was single. There [were] never times when I was in a committed relationship,” he said, before sharing that he was anxious that former male sexual partners would out him while he was on The Bachelor. 

“I was terrified being The Bachelor because I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, now my face is plastered everywhere. […] There was a lot of anxiety and sleepless nights. I either got lucky, or I was very careful.”

Underwood continued: “To be honest with you, a lot of the men I hooked up with were ‘straight’ in their real life too.

“They were all pretty closeted themselves. So I don’t think any man that was going to be coming out to get me because they would be outing themselves as well.

“It wasn’t a ton of men. It was a few that never had my real name. [That’s how] scared and secretive it all was.”

Underwood publicly came out as gay in 2021, making history as the first lead in The Bachelor franchise to do so. In the same year, he led his own Netflix series Coming Out Colton. 

After dating for two years, he married Jordan C. Brown, a political strategist for the Democratic Party, in May 2023. Earlier this year, the couple announced they are expecting their first child.

In a statement, Underwood described his journey to fatherhood as a “rollercoaster of emotions – humbling, exciting and truly eye-opening”.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome our baby boy and really get to embrace ‘Daddyhood’ in a whole new way,” he said.

“Jordan and I are looking forward to all the little moments, like holding, feeding, and changing him. But above all, we’re most excited to show him just how loved he already is.”

You can listen to Colton Underwood’s full interview with Alexandra Cooper on Call Her Daddy below.