As previously reported in unfortunate detail, Colton Underwood has been diagnosed with Covid-19.
The former The Bachelor, who anchored Season 23 of this beloved ABC series, opened up about the illness a few days ago, admitting that the virus is very serious and totally exhausting.
He's encouraging everyone to practice social distancing.
Now, however, Underwood would like to talk about something other than his physical condition.
He'd like to talk about his mental state back when he was a teenager.
The reality star has actually penned a memoir (titled "The First Time") in which he delves into his high school years, back when he was big man on campus in every way but one.
"I thought, maybe I am gay," Underwoood writes in this book, explaining:
"The captain of the football team should be having sex and drinking, right? But I wasn't."
Underwood, of course, made many headlines during his run as The Bachelor because he was a virgin.
“There are a lot of stories and experiences that will help people understand the choices I’ve made,” says Underwood in his memoir, excerpted this week by People Magazine.
“And I’m done hiding who I really am.”
With that, Underwood talked more about his experiences growing up.
In grade school, for example?
“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,” he says.
“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.”
A rumor about Colton's sexuality then made the rounds in high school, prompting him to Google the words Am I Gay because he just had so many questions about himself.
"I didn’t know who I was,” Underwood explains.
“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."
Because he abstained from intercourse, Underwood continue to hear this same speculation while he was actively serving as The Bachelor.
"Even while my season was airing, I battled the gay [rumors],” says Colton. “They’d say, ‘he’s gay, he’s hiding it.’ No. But I’ve been there, done that now."
But Underwood remained true to himself and selected Cassie Randolph as his partner -- and the two are still together!
"I finally found somebody I really just want to be with,” says Underwood of Randolph, who is taking care of him as he recovers from COVID-19.
“I want my life to be with Cassie. I know who I am. And that’s really all that matters."
As for how Underwood is feeling these days?
Consider his most recent Instagram message:
Today, I woke up seeing light at the end of the tunnel. I had my best sleep in more than a week and feel closer to my normal self. I still have a mild cough but the aches and pains are gone.
I’m just feeling grateful right now that I still have a life.
I realize that my case was not as severe as others and I am lucky we managed it at home.
I am in awe of the doctors and nurses who are on the front lines saving lives and the grocery checkers and truckers and everyone else helping people stay fed and comforted.
We’ve learned that superheroes are real, not just in the movies.
I never thought I’d know as much about supply chains or use the phrase “flatten the curve” when not referring to my stomach after a big meal. Please continue to practice kindness.
Keep a distance. Stay safe. Let’s shut this thing down and put it in our rearview mirror.
We’re all in this together.