"I'm still the same Colton everybody met on TV. I'm still the same Colton to my friends and my family. I just happen to be able to share with people now, all of me," Underwood expressed. "I am proud of that. I am proud to be gay."
The Indiana native noted that he has known he was gay since the age of six, but that due to his Catholic background he chose to repress that side of him.
"I still have a lot to work through. I'll go on the record and say I still haven't had an emotional connection with a man," Underwood shared. "I've never allowed myself to. And it's never been sort of in my cards to let myself get there. I want to more than anything."
As for what he's looking for in a partner when the time comes, Underwood said, "I'm looking for someone who can push me and challenge me in all the great ways."
The former football player also touched on being labeled the "virgin Bachelor" during his time as a contestant on The Bachelorette and as the Bachelor.
"The truth is, I was a virgin Bachelor because I was gay and I didn't know how to handle that," Underwood shared.
Since publicly coming out, Underwood has received a lot of support from the Bachelor Nation community. Demi Burnett, a contestant during Underwood's season who later came out as a "queer queen," tweeted with a rainbow and star emoji, "Welcome to the community brother."
The executive producers of The Bachelor also released a statement, saying, "We are so inspired by Colton Underwood's courage to embrace and pursue his authentic self. As firm believers in the power of love, we celebrate Colton's journey in the LGBTQIA+ community every step of the way."
Bachelor Nation host Chris Harrison also posted on social media in support of Underwood, writing, "Very proud of you today @coltonunderwood Happy to see you stand up and openly live your truth. You have my love and support my friend."