On Wednesday's episode of Good Morning America, the 29-year-old former Bachelor told Robin Roberts in a pre-taped interview that he is gay, adding that it's something he "came to terms" with earlier this year, despite knowing he "was different" since age six and figuring out his sexuality as a freshman in high school.
Underwood first joined Bachelor Nation as a contestant on Becca Kufrin's season of The Bacheloretteand was later named the Bachelor himself.
Days following Underwood's emotional interview, stars are still speaking out in support of him sharing his truth.
On her Click Bait podcast, Tayshia Adams, who was a runner-up on Underwood's season of The Bachelor, admitted that she was "a little shocked at first" to hear that her ex had come out as gay.
"But all in all, the happiness that I have for him, that he’s finally able to live his truth, and to be out, and the sense of relief that I got from his interview is something that I have to commend immensely," Adams added. "And I’m just so happy that he’s able to just be him."
Lucy Hale, who was also briefly romantically linked to Underwood, praised him on her Instagram Story. "I’m really, really happy for you @coltonunderwood,” the 31-year-old actress wrote alongside a photo of Underwood from his time as the Bachelor. "You deserve to be seen, heard, and accepted for exactly who you are."
Hale added: “Brave, bold moves and I’m HERE FOR IT."
Also on the Ben and Ashley I. Almost Famous podcast, *NSYNC's Lance Bass, who came out as gay in 2006 on the cover of People magazine, said he can relate to what Underwood is going through and why he waited to speak out about his sexuality.
"Ninety percent of my fans were women, and they all thought I was straight. I made my money off women and singing about love and using that market," Bass recalled of his boy band days. "So me coming out, it was scary... 'cause now everyone is gonna see me as a liar.."
As for what advice he would give Underwood, Bass replied, "Sit back, listen and learn."
Immediately following his GMA interview, the executive producers of The Bachelorreleased a statement in support of the former franchise lead.
"We are so inspired by Colton Underwood's courage to embrace and pursue his authentic self," read the statement, which was obtained by multiple outlets. "As firm believers in the power of love, we celebrate Colton's journey in the LGBTQIA+ community every step of the way."
GLAAD also supported Underwood, noting in a statement that "every LGBTQ person’s journey to discovering and accepting their authentic self is different."
"Colton Underwood’s decision to share his truth with the public reminds us that there is no set timeline for coming out," the statement read. "Given the large and loyal fandom who know Colton from The Bachelor, his coming out and discussion of his faith will hopefully open eyes to the millions of out and proud LGBTQ people who are also people of faith."
Chris Harrison, who hosted Underwood's season of The Bachelor, expressed his support on Instagram.
"Very proud of you today @coltonunderwood," he wrote alongside a pic with Underwood. "Happy to see you stand up and openly live your truth. You have my love and support my friend."
Underwood commented on Harrison's post, writing, "Love and appreciate you man. Means a lot."
Likewise, Bachelor Nation alums took to social media to show their support for Underwood.
Onyeka Ehie, who was a contestant on Underwood's season, tweeted, "Happy for @colton for speaking his truth. We support you."
"Just a reminder that homophobic comments will not be accepted or tolerated today or any day," she added in a second tweet. "You’ve been warned."
Happy for @colton for speaking his truth. We support you ❤️
Billy Eichner also weighed in, sharing a clip from when he appeared on Underwood's season of The Bachelor. In the clip, Eichner told Underwood, "I'm gay. I know that's a shock, Colton. And that, I think, you should look into. Maybe you're the first gay Bachelor and we don't even know!"
Underwood responded with a laugh at the time.
"Congrats @coltonunderwood!" Eichner captioned the clip after Underwood came out. "If you’re gay, be gay! I’ve been gay forever and I love it!"
Underwood responded to Eichner's post, writing, "Love you. Love this (now) and I love being gay."
"I'm happy for you," Eichner replied. "See you at the club, Colton!"
Dan Levy praised Underwood for coming out, writing that it can be "a terrifying, uncomfortable, and traumatizing experience because we still live in a world where we are made to fear the consequences of living freely."
"So happy for @colton Underwood," he added. "His courage will undoubtably [sic] save lives today."
During his interview with Roberts, Underwood admitted that he's had "suicidal thoughts" in the past, but is now happy to be standing in his truth.
"I'm emotional in such a good, happy, positive way," he said. "I'm the happiest and healthiest I've ever been in my life and that means the world to me."
He also confessed to having mixed feelings about his time with the Bachelor franchise.
"I do think I could have handled it better. I just wish I wouldn't have dragged people into my own mess of figuring out who I was," he said of the women competing for his heart. "I genuinely mean that. But I also at the same time, I can sit here and say, 'I'm sorry' to all those women. I can also sit here and say, 'Thank you,' because without them and without The Bachelor franchise, I don't know that this would have ever came out."
Underwood's season of The Bachelor did not end in an engagement, though he did leave the show in a relationship with Cassie Randolph. The pair dated for a year and a half before calling it quits last May.