9:49 AM PT -- We just got Colton out in NYC, and his face really does say it all, you can see the happiness.
Colton Underwood coming out as gay comes with a TV deal ... his new journey's being shot for a reality series.
TMZ has learned the former 'Bachelor' star has had a film crew following him for the past few weeks, and the show -- focusing on his life as a gay man -- will air on Netflix.
We're told several other prominent members of the LBGTQ+ community have been in Colton's corner throughout this process -- such as his friend, Olympian Gus Kenworthy -- and will make appearances alongside him in the series.
He said ... "I've ran from myself for a long time. I've hated myself for a long time ... and I'm gay. And 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."
Colton says his struggle with being gay got so bad that he contemplated suicide, but fortunately he had an epiphany ... and decided to take control of his life.
We reached out to Colton's rep ... so far, no word back.