Out With It

On Faith and the Fertility Journey with Colton Underwood

June 03, 2024 Colton Underwood Season 1 Episode 2
On Faith and the Fertility Journey with Colton Underwood
Out With It
More Info
Out With It
On Faith and the Fertility Journey with Colton Underwood
Jun 03, 2024 Season 1 Episode 2
Colton Underwood

In this episode of "Out with It," Family Equality President and CEO, Jaymes Black, is joined by American TV personality, executive producer, philanthropist, entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author, and Daddyhood host, Colton Underwood. Together, they explore their faith journeys, and Colton opens up about his personal fertility journey, sharing the challenges and hopes that come with it. 

Family Equality is creating a world where everyone can experience the love, safety, and belonging of family. As the leading national organization for current and future LGBTQ+ families, we work to ensure that everyone has the freedom to find, form, and sustain their families by advancing LGBTQ+ equality through advocacy, support, storytelling, and education. Learn more and support our work today!

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Contact info@familyequality.org to chat more.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of "Out with It," Family Equality President and CEO, Jaymes Black, is joined by American TV personality, executive producer, philanthropist, entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author, and Daddyhood host, Colton Underwood. Together, they explore their faith journeys, and Colton opens up about his personal fertility journey, sharing the challenges and hopes that come with it. 

Family Equality is creating a world where everyone can experience the love, safety, and belonging of family. As the leading national organization for current and future LGBTQ+ families, we work to ensure that everyone has the freedom to find, form, and sustain their families by advancing LGBTQ+ equality through advocacy, support, storytelling, and education. Learn more and support our work today!

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Contact info@familyequality.org to chat more.

Jaymes Black (00:11):

Hello, outspoken changemakers, and welcome to Family Equality's "Out With It," the podcast where conversations are raw, insights are bold, and the mission is clear: to foster a society where justice is non-negotiable and equality is the norm. I'm your host, Family Equality President and CEO, Jaymes Black, and I think it's time to come out with it.


Alright, today on the podcast I'm thrilled to introduce you all to my friend Colton Underwood. Colton is an American TV personality, executive producer, philanthropist, entrepreneur, New York Times bestseller, and recently a fellow podcaster. And since garnering national attention for his role in "The Bachelor," Colton has moved well beyond rose ceremonies — truly embodying what bold, unapologetic authenticity really means by sharing his story to advocate for mental health and LGBTQ+ issues. He also recently launched his own podcast, "Daddyhood," which I was honored to be a guest on. He's a loving husband and a fearless friend of Family Equality, and I'm so thrilled to have him here to chat more today about mental health and the path to parenthood. Welcome Colton. How are you doing today?

Colton Underwood (01:23):

Good. Thank you so much for having me on, and thanks for all of the kind, lovely words. What an introduction.

Jaymes Black (01:32):

Absolutely. Well deserved. Absolutely. So we want to start...I loved how you started your podcast with dad jokes, and so I don't have any jokes just yet. I'm going to work on that. But, I would love to start with an icebreaker. And, I think it's a pretty easy one, but the podcast is all about having difficult conversations — uncomfortable conversations — and I think you and I have discovered that we have this ability to have those uncomfortable conversations, but in the spirit of vulnerability and getting people opened up about having these conversations, I'd love to start with a icebreaker. Very easy one. You grew up in the Midwest. What was your favorite childhood meal growing up that you just could not get enough of, and do you still eat it today?

Colton Underwood (02:16):

Yeah, it's actually weirdly a comfort food of mine. And then, growing up, what it was was — it was toast and really runny eggs and then you put 'em in a bowl and you chop it all up. So, the toast becomes soggy with the yolk. It tastes incredible. And then, a heavy dose of salt and pepper. So that was sort of my go-to. I don't really know. We didn't have a name for it or call it anything. It was just sort of our quick easy on the go breakfast every day. I love breakfast food at all times in the day.

Jaymes Black (02:47):

Oh, I love breakfast food and I love runny eggs. And so growing up we call it sopping, we would, sop the yolk with the toast.

Colton Underwood (02:54):

Yes! Yeah, yeah, yeah.


That's what it is. It's just all cut up like in a bowl.

Jaymes Black (02:58):

But now the whole thing in a bowl, and I'm just saying...Maybe avocado on top?

Colton Underwood (03:03):

Look. When I was in that phase of life, I didn't like avocado. Now I would definitely add avocado to it.

Jaymes Black (03:11):

That sounds wonderful. Love that. Love that. Great. Well, so let's get started. Starting with this opening question. Again, just giving sort of a foundation for the podcast. So the whole point of the podcast is having open and honest conversations about topics that are often swept under the rug. And you and I think both agree that the only way we're going to create any real change in this country, in this world, is by making real connections and authentic connections. So let's get, as we say, out with it. And that open question for you is: What's one thing that you feel like you want to come out and talk about? Something that you might not have had the space to talk about in other places, but you do now?

Colton Underwood (03:55):

I just think talking through...boxes that people try to put you in. And, just where sort of our society gets lazy, and we like to categorize people and everything. And, I'm just a firm believer in people don't belong in boxes, I think. And also, people change and they evolve. I think so often it confuses people or sort of throws 'em off when that change happens. I think that is healthy. That is part of life. That's part of being a human being is the evolution of change and thinking on your own. And, your experiences shape who you are. So you shouldn't always remain the same and you shouldn't always be the same person you were when you were in college, the same person you were when you were in your twenties, in your thirties, in your forties. It's always shifting and it's always changing based off of the environment and the people around you.

Jaymes Black (04:47):

I love that. And it's interesting that you said that because, as you know, I changed my name. [I] started using Jaymes in December, and you would think that that change would've been welcomed by people who I believed were welcoming, but the change threw them off. "I knew you as this person and now you want me to know you as this other person and I can't quite get there." And I just wonder how that type of mindset is holding us back just as a country.

Colton Underwood (05:17):

I think it's a lot to do with social media and pressures of our society that we hold on people of "No, you have to. This is who I know you as and this is how you are in my head." And so I definitely think that's mine.

Jaymes Black (05:31):

Yeah, and "I'm comfortable with who you were, so I don't see — I don't want to navigate who you are today."

Colton Underwood (05:38):

Yeah. Once again, it's just sort of lazy, and people don't like to have to put in new effort and new work.

Jaymes Black (05:45):

No, no they don't. But that's what we're here to talk about. So I appreciate that perspective. So let's get into your new podcast, Daddyhood. And so when I was on the podcast we talked about how you always knew that you — always knew that you wanted to be a dad. You wanted to be a parent. And I remember having offline conversations with you, and I can see the passion in your eyes and in your voice when you talk about becoming a parent. And how did coming out though shape or change that desire to be a parent?

Colton Underwood (06:20):

Well, it was nerve wracking. That was something, you know...There was...Now reflecting and spending enough time with my therapist...As I was coming out, there was three main categories of what was holding me back. It was my religion and my faith, the sports culture and community, and my desire to want to become a dad. And what I've since learned is there is still the ability to bring your traditional — if you want to call [them] "traditional" — values with you into your queerness. And I think that is something that not a lot of people talk about. I think when you see our LGBTQ+ community represented or if there's media, it's very much of the mindset of "Let's burn it all down. I'm coming out. I'm changing all of these things. This is how I have to live now." And there is a big group of people who come out and they're just like, "Ah, I want to keep that part of me."


I like who I was while I was in the closet. I want to have a family. I want to be a dad. I want to get married. I want to be monogamous and/or X amount of things, and it doesn't make any other way of coming out or wrong. It's sort of how I wanted to handle my process and my relationship and my family. So I think that was a little confusing, but it's definitely shown me a completely new side of things. The outreach and the support since launching DaddyHood has been incredible from so many people in our community of just being like, "Thank you. Nobody talks about this and I don't really know where to start." And there's not a lot of information. It's so hard to find information. So it's been really rewarding in the short time that it's been out.

Jaymes Black (08:06):

I love that. I think find information or find people who are willing to have those conversations and share that part of themselves or are not ashamed. So you said the three aspects were your faith and religion, sports, and then was it...?

Colton Underwood (08:22):

My desire to want to have a family. And I just didn't see that representation of queer people. My earliest memories may be Neil Patrick Harris. And then while I was deeply closeted, Andy Cohen wasn't yet a father, and there's not a lot of LGBTQ+ representation when it comes to family building. And that's sort of something that held me back for sure.

Jaymes Black (08:46):

Yeah, I understand that. And one thing I do appreciate about you is your willingness to talk about your faith and how important that is to you. And I don't think we talk about that enough at all.

Colton Underwood (08:57):

Yeah, look, I can be someone who considers himself a Christian man. And, I grew up in the Catholic church. I definitely think there are parts of religion and structured religion that are problematic and that aren't always right or aren't a fair representation to the group as a whole. I think that isn't said enough is just because someone says I'm a Christian or I'm a Catholic does not mean that they think and believe what some of the louder people in that community think and believe. So I have no problem saying that. And also just being open and saying it's a work in progress. It still at times gets to be confusing. The Pope coming out and saying he's anti-surrogate, but then sort of changing his views on the LGBTQ+ community in regards to marriage, that's still confusing for me as a man of faith of like, "Oh, okay? But I'm rooting for him. Good job here. But also what are you doing over here now?" So it's a work in progress. That's life.

Jaymes Black (10:01):

Yeah, it is. And faith can be complex, and so I don't want to make this a faith conversation, but what I will say, and I've never said this to you, is that you help me open my eyes back to the possibility of embracing the faith and maybe not exactly how I grew up, but I think I was — like many people — angry and just totally done with it. And I'd realized that it was not the God who left me, it was all his people who rejected me. And so I saw how open you are with your faith and so it helped me to go, "Huh, there is a space there [for me]."

Colton Underwood (10:38):

Yeah. I think instead of taking — and this was just my way and I think everybody's entitled to handling their journeys how they need to handle it — I didn't want it to be a traumatic experience. If anything, I just wanted to workshop it. I wanted to work through it. I wanted to put the effort and work in. And I know a lot of people when they come out, it's traumatic to think about, "Man, I sat through that Mass or I sat through that service, and I had to listen to that pastor say that my life and my lifestyle and the words that they use are so inappropriate." And that's how they get over it is they have to take this never returning/It was so traumatic for me to have to go through that [approach], and if that's on your path to healing, that is. But for me it was more so, I need to do the work. I need to figure out where I'm at with this. I need to try to be as transparent as possible with people while still very much on my journey.

Jaymes Black (11:34):

Yeah, noo, I love that. And I think again, just being vocal about it helps folks like me and others. And you're probably impacting more people than you even think. So let's talk about the process and the work of Family Equality, which you are such a huge supporter of. So we are the leading national organization for LGBTQ+ families, and we talk a lot about family formation and all the ways that we form our families: IVF, surrogacy, adoption. So it's easy for us to, I think, forget how personal and even in some cases uncomfortable these topics can be because we talk about it so freely. But one of our goals is to de-stigmatize the journey. And you being so outspoken about your experiences has had a huge impact on our work. So just again, thank you. I think you're helping more people than you know. But the fact of the matter is this, there are millions of different ways to find your family, to form your family, to sustain your family. And so you're on this new path to parenthood. What has your path to parent parenthood been like thus far?

Colton Underwood (12:42):

I think the one word that I would use to describe my path to parenthood would just be emotional. So many ups and downs. It's been long, it's been about two years now that my husband and I have sort of been navigating this — between some fertility issues early on with me and then just genetic testing with our egg donor to matching with the surrogate to all of the legal ins and outs of it. It's...There's been a lot of ups and downs, and I say that from a very privileged position of being in California and also just having the resources to go through IVF and surrogacy with my partner. But I've learned so much and I've also learned there are so many different ways to create a family. One thing that I've sort of prided myself on here at Daddyhood, and I know you guys do incredible work with people with adoption people in the foster care system, I've really taken a lot of pride on recording a lot of episodes around foster care and the systems and how they're broken and they're not in the best interest of the kids and these babies most of the time.


That was all Family Equality really kicked off my desire and my curiosity when it came to family building and family planning and just sort of how I can serve as a voice in this community — adjacent and in partnership with you guys. I do think you didn't mention it yet, but Family Equality is a partner of Daddyhood and your expertise, your connections and networking of helping amplify certain voices, especially in marginalized communities has been so helpful to me too. And Daddyhood. So thank you for that.

Jaymes Black (14:27):

Of course, two things that you said I just want to hit on is that you said your path to parenthood has been emotional. And one of the aspects of the queer path to parenthood or the LGBTQ+ path to parenthood that I think people need to understand is it doesn't really matter where you sit on the socioeconomic scale. Becoming a parent as an LGBTQ+ person, even when you have the means is emotional, is difficult, is more challenging than most. And I think there's a belief out there that if you have the means and you are in - even a state like California - that it's all well and good and boom, boom, you got the kid and there you go. It's emotional! And we have to navigate so many things, and you still have to navigate barriers as an LGBTQ+ person. And so I think it's important...I try to bring us together now that we...It's not that because you have means and you're this contingent of LGBTQ+ folks and your path to parenthood is easier. Maybe there are less barriers, but it's so emotional for all of us, and we all fight so damn hard to be parents, too. All of us.

Colton Underwood (15:38):

I mean you hit the nail on the head, and I think one thing that people also lose sight of is becoming parents and building your family is so intentional and for a group of our country or the world to say one group or one people are not deserving enough even though they don't understand the hoops that we have to jump through, the shame that we have to carry, the sort of "head down, just try to not be a distraction, and maybe this will help" mentality that isn't healthy for us to have to carry with [us], but we have to do it. I think [it] is not recognized a lot. I think it's one of the most intentional things you can do, and I think it's such a beautiful thing that members of our community are trying our hardest to keep advocating — like Family Equality and the way that you guys advocate for our rights in different states is so needed.

Jaymes Black (16:35):

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I do appreciate you bringing up the second aspect [which] was how broken the foster care system is and just the number. I'd love our audience to research when you have time just the number of kids — around 400,000 a year — who go through that system. And so I appreciate you educating yourself and becoming an advocate because that's a huge piece, I think, of the path to parenthood because some of us want to foster and there are barriers there. And there are many LGBTQ+ children who sit in foster care and wait and oftentimes we could be a better match for them in terms of future parents. Right?

Colton Underwood (17:14):

Totally. And I think that was the other thing that I've learned here too is: While most people will say, "Well, there's so many great kids for adoption or in the foster care system," everybody has a plan to build their family how they want to build it, and everybody has a right to explore whatever that looks like for them. But I've met so many people that are like "We knew we wanted to adopt" [or] "We knew we wanted to go through the foster care program from our initial conversation." My husband and I knew that we wanted to go through IVF and surrogacy from the minute or hour that we had our conversation about what our future family could look like. And that's what's beautiful about Daddyhood is we're trying to tell all of those stories. We're getting perspectives from so many different angles inside of things that it really hopefully can help make a big impact.

Jaymes Black (18:04):

Yeah, I agree. And so thinking about Daddyhood, thinking about your path to parenthood — and we talked about how it doesn't matter where you sit, we all have challenges as LGBTQ+ people. What, are there some specific challenges that you can share that you experienced on this path?

Colton Underwood (18:25):

Yeah, look, I've interviewed a lot of people who have had a lot more jarring experiences than my husband and I have had. I definitely think one thing that's put a lot of things in perspective for me is: When it comes to a fertility journey, you're not just talking about women. And I think so often our country, when you hear fertility issues you think, "Oh okay, well she can't get pregnant." And the reality is there's another part of that equation, which is the sperm and the man. And that's put a lot of things in perspective for me because I struggled with the health of my sperm. It dates back all the way to our sex education and a lot of work that I know Family Equality is going through with our school system and books. I would've loved to have been properly educated on the health of what I put in and what I do to my body can have long lasting implications on my fertility and when it comes to sexual health. So I don't know, I think that's definitely been something that's been a little bit of a struggle. And I think just working through how emotional this has been for my husband and I all the way from getting 22 eggs on the egg retrieval and then only having three embryos. But it's like instead of shifting and saying...Instead of "only," I'm going to say "We have three embryos. We have three great opportunities now at this." It's ups and downs. You don't really know how to navigate it.

Jaymes Black (20:01):

Yeah, it's definitely ups and downs. I mean, do you feel that we have the proper support systems just from your experience in terms of when you go through those up and down ups and downs? It's not just "I'm building a family," but when you have to almost be prepared for the lows, too. And I remember when we were going through it and whenever some type of low or rejection would happen, how we felt so alone sometimes and isolated. Yeah, you're talking to each other, but just a support system as a whole. I think about how that would've benefited us.

Colton Underwood (20:34):

Yeah, I mean I try to live by this motto that my college coach actually told me about in football and he said, "You can never be too high, and you can never be too low." So he is like, "Just try to keep that even keel composure about you," which is really hard. It sounds like a simple tactic, but then on a daily basis and an hourly basis when you get devastating news, you spike. You're like, "Oh, this is so happy, I'm so excited." Or "It's like my world's going to end. How can I come back from this? This is devastating." So it's always trying to have that perspective of an appreciation for the experience and the process. But as far as support system goes, I mean one thing that I think is a misconception is there's a bonding element that maybe missing from either two dads or two moms because this experience isn't as traditional as normal. And that's not the case. Jordan and I have bonded so much throughout this experience from day one of signing a contract to collecting our samples, to getting our sperm results. And him being there to support me in a time of need that I didn't know that I was going to have. I think my support system's definitely been Jordan throughout all this.

Jaymes Black (21:49):

Yeah, I love that you two are leaning on each other. So you mentioned misconception. What other misconceptions have you had to navigate as you go through this process?

Colton Underwood (22:00):

I think one thing that's been sort of eye-opening to me is just how long it takes in the process. And not only just legally just the loopholes and the hoops you have to jump through to do this. I mean, we're two years in and we're still working through it right now. And I think that could also be something that people don't understand is a factor into queer people building their families and members of — just IVF members of even the straight, all of our straight allies and friends too. It can be discouraging to have to be on your fertility journey for 2, 3, 4 years before you even can get pregnant can be discouraging. And I think that is something that is sort of a misconception because everybody loves to scare you when you're in high school saying if you have sex you will become pregnant. And it's like if we really talk about this, it takes a specific time. There's a lot of factors that go into that and I just don't think the way that we're communicating from a young age of how sex works is healthy.

Jaymes Black (23:13):

Yeah, yeah. No, I totally agree with you. There's lots of education that I think needs to be updated and changed and we had some of the same misconceptions. When I think about misconceptions, I also think about not just the family aspect, but you have a large audience. And what I love is that... Have you felt that through this process being public, that you've helped people understand what maybe they have misconceptions that internally — obviously you don't know what people are thinking that follow you — but I just wonder that through you being so authentic and open about this process that perhaps you've changed some misconceptions that people had. Because you've had an audience for a very long time that followed you kind of through your journey. Right?

Colton Underwood (24:01):

Yeah, I definitely think since the launch of Daddyhood, there's been a lot of people who have reached out and been like, "Thank you so much." A lot of men too, because men carry a lot of shame around how fertile they are and not having sperm. I remember the first thing, I felt somewhat embarrassed when I got my results back and it was a little emasculating and my ego took a hit and then I sort of had to process that. But what's common for a lot of men is, like, you're saying I can't do the basic function, like...My wife and/or these women have to carry for nine months of the year and put in — and put their bodies through all of this intense emotions and hormones and go through hell to give birth, and I can't even produce sperm. It's sort of like this shame of —guilt almost of being like, "My function should be easy.


Why is it not easy?" And it's a little emasculating because I viewed myself as a really healthy man and alpha man, whatever you want to call it. And then, all of a sudden you don't have any sperm. And so I've definitely had people reach out for that. And then I think going back - unrelated to Daddyhood at all, but the faith thing really helped a lot of people. I think a lot of people didn't really know how to publicly talk about it. I remember having a conversation with one of the producers of my Netflix show saying, "I'm really scared to talk about faith on this show because I don't want to alienate my Christian community, but then I also don't want to alienate my LGBTQ+ community because those are two communities that have not really gotten along over the years. And if I say I belong to both, I don't want both communities to hate me." And in fact, it had the opposite [effect]. When I said it, so many people were like, "I've always thought that way." Or Christians would be like, "I am so upset with our faith and our religion for taking this stance." And it was really cool to see how they bridge together.

Jaymes Black (25:58):

Absolutely. And this is why I think your authenticity and bravery and being bold — which is not always easy — is important. Because that was also a misconception of even mine, is that those two groups...Could we ever even come together and I needed to choose one. And then choosing one, I think you sort of feel like part of you is severed off, especially if you grew up in the church like we both did. So again, I think that's such an important subject that needs to continue having visibility because there are more people that I think that we can impact on both sides. Absolutely. Yeah. So I know that you're a huge mental health advocate and this is really another area where I think a lot of people avoid talking about, but let's talk about it from the specifics of the parenting journey. And so it's...From that first moment in the doctor's office all the way through the terrible twos and then empty nesting, [it's] is one big mental health journey too. And I know that not only the challenges of building a family as we're going through the process can sort of wear on you mentally, but also once we are raising our kids. So you talked a little bit about your fertility journey and some of the shame, but what has been your experience like with the fertility journey and caring for your own mental health through this process and understanding how huge of an advocate you are within in other arenas too? If you could share with that, share that with us.

Colton Underwood (27:20):

Yeah, I mean I had some hesitations and reservations with even coming out with Daddyhood. Why open myself up to people having their opinions and bashing me publicly again one way or another. And at the end I decided the pros outweighed the cons, but I wanted to get prepared this time. When I was doing the Netflix show and it had mixed reviews, people from Middle America loved the show. They said, "This is exactly what I needed." And even outside in different, more conservative countries really resonated with the show for whatever reason. Some people in New York and LA who watched the Netflix show didn't agree with it and it affected me. I had to look at headlines in queer publications or publishing, and I think one of them at one time was "Coming Out Colton is a Pile of Garbage Wrapped in a Rainbow Flag" was the headline of a queer publication talking about my experience of coming out and how I documented it. And I think they really weighed on me. I had to get help and continue my therapy and talk about that. So that definitely really sort of motivated me to make sure I had a game plan put together for this. I'm stepping back into the light, I'm going to be back in front of people. People are going to not be nice to me. I had to sort of brace myself for where we're at in our society, unfortunately. So I wanted to make sure I had a support system ready. And like I said, Jordan was my number one. Him and I, we protect each other. We always do what's in the best interest of our family moving forward. And we also are stepping into trying to serve as role models to different parts of our LGBTQ+ community.


So, I definitely would say making sure you have a game plan, whether it includes medication or not. For me, just medication is not the right answer. So I love therapy. I love finding ways to turn my brain off. I love video games at night to sort of signify, alright, you're getting ready for bed. This is you shutting your brain off. I just...Find what works for you. And maybe it's not therapy, maybe it's not. For me, meditation is not my thing. It's my husband's thing. He loves meditating. So just finding what works for you and your mental health and your mental wellness journey is really important, especially when you're entering into a time where you're letting people in or have an ability to let the outside voices really affect you.

Jaymes Black (29:53):

Yeah, I'm glad you said that. And I think within our community, we don't talk about mental health, our mental health enough. And it's something that is important. And you mentioned when you're letting people in, I would also mention you think about just the legislation and what we're going through and just how that feels to just be, I think, put into this place of feeling less than from the highest - from congresspeople and things like that. But I also, the show that you were just talking about, just so folks knows, called "Coming Out Colton," right? "Coming Out Colton." And it was on Netflix, correct?

Colton Underwood (30:32):

Yep. Yep.

Jaymes Black (30:33):

Okay. And I've decided to start rewatching that show, by the way, and...I wanted to understand it just based on what you've told me. [muffled] I'd love to encourage other folks to watch it as well.

Colton Underwood (30:45):

Thank you. I appreciate it. Yeah, and that was over three years ago now that I filmed that. And it was just such a good reminder to me of figuring out that balance of privacy in public, and how I wanted to navigate the rest of my life.

Jaymes Black (31:01):

Yeah, absolutely. And I know that there was a lot of backlash, but I also think that is, again, your ability to be who you are and bring other people together. And I do think, I would hope that there are members of the community who were not fans. I hope they're big fans of yours now because I think what you did was brave and important. So now let's go to the closing question. Being unapologetic about the fight for equality of course means being fierce when it comes to difficult conversations, but it also means being brave enough to have hope. And so Colton, what's one thing that you're fearlessly hoping for in the future, and what's one change that you want to see in the world?

Colton Underwood (31:47):

Great question. I think that I'm hopeful that people will understand that everybody has a perspective and everybody has a view, and that we can honor and respect that as long as it doesn't harm other human beings. But I really hope that people will take the attitude of being more curious and open-minded to exploring different ways of thinking. I think so often we sort of stick and put ourself in that box and we say No, because I'm over here. This is what I have to believe. And I think if we remain more open and we remain more curious that we can grow not only as people but as larger communities. And that's definitely something for me that I'm really trying to take on. And it took me a while to find my lane and I found it, and my North Star now is "Does this bridge people together" and am I trying to - is what I'm putting out as Colton Underwood, as production, as podcast, as whatever I touch - Is it bridging America or is it dividing it? Because I don't want to be the latter. I want to be somebody who, when people look at my work, they're saying like, oh, I learned something new, or, oh, I don't agree with that. But I like how we approached it and now I'm going to think on that a little bit longer. I think that's sort of my goal in everything that I do moving forward. And I have a hope that our country can get there.

Jaymes Black (33:19):

And we've talked about that too. I have the same hope. And so I really appreciate you, and I'm taking three lessons from this podcast that I've learned from you in our time together. And one of those is that we don't have to be one or the other. We don't have to check a particular box or choose a particular group. We can embrace all the aspects of ourselves. We must build bridges, and that is so important in this country. And so we have to continue to be a bridge and build bridges. And what your coach said is something I'm going to remember that you can never be too high or too low. To stay balanced. And you're right, it's easier said than done, but I do think that it is something to try to put into practice. So I appreciate that.

Colton Underwood (34:03):

You'll find yourself saying that quite often, just in both moments - typically in my experience as more with a low moments than the highs, because naturally you want to ride that high, but it's a good sort of steadiness that you want to apply.

Jaymes Black (34:21):

Yeah, absolutely. It's a good parenting lesson. And so now when my kids come home, I'm going to say...I'm going to say...I'm going to use it. I'm going to have the right parenting moment to use that. And the kids call you, Mr. Colton. I'm going to say, "You can thank Mr. Colton for that."

Colton Underwood (34:34):

Well, I can't wait to see them again and ask 'em how they're doing with it.

Jaymes Black (34:38):

Oh geez. They keep asking about you, and they want to play football with you, so we'll figure that out. But Colton, on behalf of everyone at Family Equality, I just want to thank you for joining me for this impactful conversation. And I appreciate you being a friend to me, a friend to Family Equality, and just being so impactful and committed to our work and just a powerful advocate. And so before I let you go, is there anything else that you want to share to our audience? Any projects or initiatives that you want to talk about?

Colton Underwood (35:10):

No. I mean, I love the work that Family Equality is doing, and it's an honor to stand by you and fight with you. And if anybody is thinking or on their fertility journey and feels isolated or has questions, I would encourage you to listen to Daddyhood and just figure out all the different ways that you can grow. And also just for you to know that you're not alone. You're not alone on the fertility journey, you're not alone on your mental health journey. There are people out there and you can get help.

Jaymes Black (35:43):

Thanks so much, Colton. Thank you. So good seeing you.


This has been a Family Equality production. As the leading national organization for current and future LGBTQ+ families, we work to advance equality through advocacy, support, storytelling, and education to ensure that everyone has the freedom to find form and sustain their families. I'm your host, Family Equality's president and CEO, Jaymes Black. Our producers are the communications team at Family Equality. Our amazing music is designed by Michael Koppelman. Special thanks to Clockwork for supporting this podcast and special thanks to you for listening. The fun doesn't have to stop here. Follow Family Equality on socials at @familyequality for up-to-date resources, community events, insights from the movement, and ways to get involved. You can also follow me at @TheJaymesBlack on Instagram and TikTok. Remember, this is more than a podcast. It's a platform for change. So rate, subscribe and review this podcast to help us spread the word. As always, you can support Family Equality and the amazing work we're doing on behalf of LGBTQ+ families every day by donating at donate.familyequality.org. You can also reach out to chat more about potential sponsorship opportunities. But for now, I'll catch you next time.