Colton Underwood: Coming to terms with one’s sexuality later in life
Last month, Bachelor star Colton Underwood came out as gay in an interview on Good Morning America.
Colton said he has been running from himself and hating himself for a long time. He stated that he came to terms with his sexual orientation earlier this year and that there was a long time where he would have rather died than come out. Such harmful and suicidal thoughts led him to make life-risking decisions. He said that the only reason for which he was sitting with Robin Roberts was because of the support system he has from friends and family.
But why did he come out so late – at the age of 29 – in the year 2021?
Colton mentioned how he was raised in a Catholic background. It’s no secret that religion is one of the main incongruities of homosexuality. Despite many religious organizations and followers supporting gay rights, there are a lot of non-supporters of homosexuality. Colton did however say he knew he was gay since high school. Nevertheless, Colton played football growing up; the toxic masculinity and anti-gay environment can scare someone from being their authentic selves. He also mentioned how growing up, the word gay had a negative connotation. So why would someone want to willingly associate themselves with something society views as negative?
Sex therapist Gail Wyatt says that the process of interpreting one’s attraction and feelings isn’t an easy task. Therefore, one might recognize the attraction or feelings they have towards the same sex but not know how to interpret that.
I know firsthand how that process can be. I came out as bisexual first during my adolescence. I genuinely believed I was bisexual for a short moment until a therapist asked me who I masturbated to, and that answer was men. I realized that my attraction towards women wasn’t sexual but rather aesthetic. I still find women attractive, but I don’t in any way have a sexual attraction towards them. But because many of us aren’t taught about our attractions and emotions, it’s something that we have to figure out ourselves.
Furthermore, in a world that still upholds heteronormativity and heterosexism in various aspects of human society, the process of interpreting one’s attraction and feelings towards the same sex can be difficult and frightening. It can also lead to internalized homophobia.
In addition, we have life plans that are often influenced by family and culture. Recognizing one’s sexual orientation as non-heterosexual can interrupt those plans. Not everyone is willing to interrupt plans of marriage and having biological kids, despite both being possible while being homosexual.
Colton mentioned how he was grateful to god when he was chosen as the Bachelor star for season 23. He says that he was grateful for god giving him the opportunity to have the kids, a wife, and a house.
Was he deceiving women – or just himself?
Many fans on social media felt as though he robbed those women on the Bachelor an opportunity at true love. Some felt as though he was lying and misleading women. We must recognize honesty vs truth. Honesty is a state of genuinely believing what you believe to be true. The truth is that he has been sexually attracted to men for years, but he honestly desired to be straight.
Many of us believe ourselves to be the standard of truth about reality. In his reality, his truth was that he was straight. Ultimately, I am sincerely proud that he was able to truly see his truth and now live his life with authenticity.