The truth about Colton Underwood’s parents

Colton Underwood has experienced a rollercoaster past few years. Underwood first came to national attention as a contestant on Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette. Kufrin eliminated Colton after week eight, but it wasn’t the end of Underwood’s stint on television. He appeared on Bachelor in Paradise and later starred as The Bachelor

It is common for a relationship created on The Bachelor to break down as Colton and Cassie Randolph’s did. However, it’s less common for a Bachelor contestant to come out as gay, which Colton Underwood did in April 2021. 

Underwood starred in a Netflix reality show titled Coming Out Colton, which told the story of his decision to come out. Colton Underwood’s parents feature significantly in the series. 

Colton feared coming out to his parents more than he feared coming out to the world

Colton Underwood lived a life of denial since his early teens: he grew up in a conservative environment that criticized being gay. “I had already grown up in the Catholic Church, I had gone to Catholic grade school,” Underwood told Robin Roberts. “I had learned in the Bible that [being] gay is a sin.”

Underwood first came out to his publicist because he felt he had no choice. An anonymous internet user threatened to out Colton as gay using pictures of Colton the Blackmailer had taken during Colton’s visit to a gay spa. 

“I knew that out of anybody in the world, my publicist wasn’t going to ruin me,” Underwood told Variety. He then decided to come out to his parents, which filled Colton with unimaginable dread, according to a source by US Weekly

“He was stressed out in the days leading up to [telling his mom and dad], much more than he was for the GMA interview,” the source said. “Colton was excited for the GMA interview because it was his last step toward being able to live his life the way he wants to.”

Colton first came out to his mother, Donna Underwood, who expressed surprise but stated she loved Underwood. He then opened up to his brother, Connor, before approaching his dad, Scott Underwood, with the news. Colton said that Scott’s reaction overjoyed him:

“My dad, when I told him that, his reaction was sort of the same, ‘I wish you would’ve trusted me sooner,’ but then he followed up with, ‘How can I help you? How can I take this off your plate? Who can I tell?’ And to me, that was more meaningful than, ‘I love you.’”

Colton’s dad would have preferred that he came out without the television cameras

The moments Colton came out to his parents features in the reality show Coming Out Colton. Scott told The New York Times that he wasn’t angry about the on-camera revelation, but he wished that Colton would have come out off-camera. He said:

“[Colton] is an entertainer, let’s face it. That’s what he’s chosen to do for his career. Am I going to say it’s for fame. No. Did he come out on TV for money? Sure. But who in reality entertainment doesn’t leverage their life and put it out there for money?”

Some netizens were less understanding of Colton, accusing him of ‘monetizing his coming-out story’ and benefiting from white privilege. Others, including his dad, wondered why Colton bothered with The Bachelor

“When I think about it more is, why the hell were you in the Bachelor?” Scott asked Colton in episode 5. “Cassie filed a restraining order against you, said you tracked her, said you stalked her. If it was over, and he was gay, why go to those extremes?”

Colton stated that he wasn’t ready to accept his sexual orientation. The relationship with Cassie represented his last remaining connection to his false heterosexual self. 

Colton’s parents have divorced but maintain a strong friendship

Colton’s parents have divorced, but they have a strong friendship. They’ve remarried and live happy lives. Underwood told Us Weekly:

“They are so happy and in love, in a new part of their life. They’re both remarried. So it’s so cool to see how they’ve dealt with that adversity and how they moved on, but they still remain friends.”

During his appearance on The Bachelorette, Colton discussed his relationships with Scott and Donna. He stated that he shares a ‘great relationship’ with Donna, and his connection with Scott resembles one of a ‘coach-player.’

During an episode of The Bachelor, Colton described his parents as straight shooters. “They’re always going to give me advice that I need whether I want to hear it or not,” Colton said.

Colton also helped Tayshia deal with the fallout of her divorce. She offered Tayshia advice on how to find happiness again:

“I have divorced parents. I have learned that I can’t be the one to judge somebody’s happiness. And if you weren’t happy, you’re making the best choice and the best decision for you – because you know what you want, you know what you deserve, and you’re going to do what makes you happy from here on out.”

Colton followed his parents’ footsteps into sports

Colton Underwood was born into a sports-inclined family. Scott was a linebacker for the Illinois State Redbirds, and Donna played volleyball for Illinois State University. 

Scott scored one famous try for the Redbirds, which sparked such wild celebrations that Scott needed medical attention. Colton told Vidette Online:

“My grandpa and grandma like to tell his stories a lot. He had an interception, and he got in the end zone and they had to bring him oxygen – all of the players piled up on him. There’s a nice picture my grandma always shows to me of him with an oxygen mask on.”

Colton followed in his parents’ footsteps by playing for Illinois State University. Scott coached Colton and his brothers and endeavored to attend every game. It became harder for him to attend his son’s matches after they opted for different colleges. 

Nevertheless, Colton ensured that a family member was present every time an Underwood stepped onto the pitch:

“We have a pretty big family, so somebody from our family is always at one of their games, but it’s weird for me because it’s the first time I’ve ever missed either one of them play football. But it’s also a good problem to have.”