After Colton Underwood came out as gay, a prophetic 2019 video of Billy Eichner joking he could be the “first gay Bachelor” has resurfaced.
Eichner appeared on Underwood’s season of The Bachelor as a camp counsellor and made fun of his own sexuality, unaware that like him, Underwood was also gay.
In the clip, Eichner turns to Underwood and says: “I’m gay, I know that’s a shock, Colton.
“That I think you should look into.
“Maybe you’re the first gay Bachelor and we don’t even know.”
The camera then switches to Underwood’s face, who in the moment appears to have imploded into a singularity of pure discomfort and embarrassment.
“Put that in your promo,” Eichner added, as Underwood still looked nervous in that way every single queer person understands.
The Bachelor has yet to have an openly queer cast in its 20 years on the air.
Coming out is something that is different for every LGBT+ person – there definitely isn’t a script to it, even for reality television stars.
So while speculating about someone’s sexuality, for whatever reason, is never particularly helpful, the unearthed clip came to capture just how messy and difficult being in the closet can be for so many queer folks.
Colton Underwood: I would have rather died than say, ‘I’m gay’
Colton Underwood came out to the world on Good Morning America.
“I’ve run from myself for a long time,” Underwood explained to journalist Robin Roberts. “I’ve hated myself for a long time. And I’m gay.
“I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it, and the next step in all of this was sort of letting people know.”
He added: “I got to a place where I didn’t think I was ever going to share this.
“I would have rather died than say, ‘I’m gay’. And I think that was sort of my wake-up call.”
For most of his life, Underwood has shrugged off speculation about his sexuality – from The Bachelor viewers, the press and even his own family.
Writing in his memoir The First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV published last year, Underwood reflected on a harrowing moment when his parents pressed him about his sexuality as a teen.
“‘You know, Colt, we’d still love you and support you if you were gay’,” his mother Donna Underwood said, Underwood recalled.
His father Scott Underwood, he said, had “pulled up the history of recent Google searches, which included gay porn sites” before grilling him, demanding to know if he is gay and why he hadn’t had sex with his girlfriend of the time.
“At first, I denied responsibility,” Underwood wrote. “Then I owned up to having been curious.
“He asked if I wanted to talk about it. I said no, explaining that I’d figured things out on my own.”