For a lot of reasons and in a lot of ways, Colton Underwood had a very hard time before he came out.
To say that he stumbled is an understatement.
The The Bachelor alum is out as gay and sharing the ups and downs of his journey with the world.
Now, he is also sharing his boyfriend with fans and followers, going Instagram official.
On Saturday, December 4, Colton Underwood marked a very special milestone.
Jordan C. Brown turned 39, and Colton wanted to celebrate his boyfriend.
Taking to Instagram, he gave his followers a glimpse at the two of them.
"Happy birthday to my dog loving ... family man," Colton gushed on social media.
He praised his boyfriend, calling Jordan his "Corn fed ... love."
That is extremely sweet. And, of course, a relationship milestone.
Going "Instagram official" means, for ordinary folks, that you're ready to put your relationship out there for the world to see.
For public figures like Colton, there's more to it.
The IG official status means that he's ready to not just confirm the relationship, but give his followers a look at the man he loves.
Colton isn't just a happy boyfriend or a public figure; he's also a newly out gay man.
At 29, some men his age are still in the closet, while others have been out for the better part of two decades.
There are no deadlines for living as your authentic self, but Colton is certainly feeling that he has a lot of catching up to do.
Colton and Jordan have been in a relationship for "months," though we don't know the specifics.
The two were spotted on a romantic getaway to Hawaii back in September of this year.
Sometimes, timelines are vague on purpose, and that is perfectly okay.
Colton is a former athlete and a reality star.
Jordan is a political strategist and not a public figure beyond the fact that he is dating one.
It makes perfect sense that Colton has held back a lot about his relationship, even though he has shared so much about himself.
Seriously, Colton shared so much.
He even held back in his Netflix documentary, discussing his journey and sexuality but not his relationship.
That is perfectly sensible. Lots of people date; that's not what coming out is all about.
(Seriously; gay and bi people can be single, not to mention that trans and asexual folks often come out about things other than who they're dating)
Colton did share that things are serious enough that he and Jordan have met each other's families.
According to Colton, it was like any other time that people bring a boyfriend or girlfriend to meet their parents.
In many ways, Colton's story is very important.
He's a professional athlete and he appeared on The Bachelor, more or less the most aggressively heterosexual reality TV franchise of all time.
In a time when viewers are increasingly conscious of the show's lack of diversity and hoping for change, an alum coming out is a great thing.
But the franchise doesn't get credit for the "happy accident" of Colton coming out after the fact.
There have been decades for the show to cast an openly gay, bi, or trans lead.
Just as the show avoided casting a Black Bachelor until the social demands were inescapable, the network has wrung its hands, clearly afraid of alienating bigoted viewers.
Colton is also not ideal representation, because of how things ended with Cassie.
We do not mean because he was closeted. Being closeted is a survival mechanism in a viciously homophobic society, and is not a wrongdoing on his part.
The fact of the matter is that Colton stalked Cassie after the breakup. Nothing can make that okay.