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I'm Ready For A Gay Bachelor, But Is 'The Bachelor' Itself Ready For It?

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I'm Ready For A Gay Bachelor, But Is 'The Bachelor' Itself Ready For It?

For 25 seasons, the Bachelor franchise has been entrenched in heteronormativity. Dream man meets 30+ dream women. They go on fantastical dates. They get engaged. They live happily ever after. However, in the wake of 2019's Bachelor Colton Underwood coming out as gay, it's time producers seriously consider having a gay Bachelor lead. Frankly, it's been time. Fans want it (oh, do they want it). But do we even trust a show that has continuously failed its queer fans to do justice to a gay love story?

In Colton's emotional coming out interview with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, Colton described the Bachelor franchise as inextricably linked to heterosexuality. The Bachelor is so heterosexual that Colton, who made his Bachelor debut as a contestant on Becca Kufrin's season of The Bachelorette, told Roberts he "put myself in these situations so I could try to force myself to be straight." He also revealed that he saw his casting as the Bachelor lead as confirmation that he was straight. "I remember praying to God the morning I found out I was the Bachelor and thanking him for making me straight," he said. "I remember that vividly, saying, 'Finally, you're letting me be straight.'"

Colton left The Bachelor with a serious girlfriend, Cassie Randolph, and the two were together for over a year before breaking up. (Cassie later filed for a restraining order against him, claiming that Colton put a tracking device on her car and accusing him of "harassing and stalking" her. She later dropped the restraining order.) But before their split, Colton publicly credited The Bachelor for confirming his sexuality, telling Entertainment Tonight, "I'm straight and I'm very, very attracted to Cassie and women — but it would have been OK if it would have been the other way too."

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