'Bachelor' star Gabby Windey announces she has a girlfriend: 'A love that I always wanted'

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"Bachelor" star Gabby Windey is no stranger to having her love life broadcast on national television, but her most recent relationship might be surprising for her fans.

Windey, who was one of the two "Bachelorette" leads last year, came out on "The View" Wednesday, announcing that she has a girlfriend. She called her relationship "a love that I always wanted going on these dating shows."

Gabby Windey attends the premiere of Freeform's "Cruel Summer" Season 2 at on May 31, 2023, in Los Angeles.
Gabby Windey attends the premiere of Freeform's "Cruel Summer" Season 2 at on May 31, 2023, in Los Angeles.

"I always just want to live my truth and my story," Windey said. "I have been seeing someone for a couple months, and I've been keeping it a little more private because it is, like, a bigger story and a bigger conversation because I'm dating a girl."

It was a twist she didn't see coming, the "Dancing with the Stars" alum said, noting that she's known for dating men on "The Bachelor," where she was one of Clayton Echard's finalists, and "The Bachelorette," which saw her engaged to her finalist for several months after the season aired.

She felt compelled to announce her relationship to "beat people to the punch," she said. "My story's been told for me so many times, being on TV with editing and production. They're going to say what they want to say, but I want them to hear it come from my mouth."

Coming out 'feels like a huge weight lifted' for Gabby Windey

Having dated men on "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" and working as a cheerleader for the Denver Broncos, Windey felt like "my whole world was kind of like male gaze-y."

"Of course I was nervous coming here, but it feels like a huge weight lifted just to be able to talk about it publicly," she said.

The reality TV star, who was an ICU nurse during the pandemic prior to her joining Bachelor Nation, is wary about the public's reaction to her announcement. She said she will be "turning off" her direct messages to avoid seeing backlash.

"A powerful act of strength": Coming out isn’t actually over. Here’s why

Windey is not the only "Bachelor" alum who has announced a same-sex relationship after having a heterosexual romance on the show. Last year, Becca Tilley, who was nearly engaged to Chris Soules on his season of "The Bachelor" in 2015, revealed she had been dating singer Hayley Kiyoko for four years.

Coming out is a powerful thing to do for not only yourself but for the LGBTQ+ community, The Trevor Project's Keygan Miller told USA TODAY earlier this year. "During a time when extremists are seeking to silence the voices of the LGBTQ community, standing in solidarity and making our presence known is a powerful act of strength and resistance," they said.

Relationship with comedian Robby Hoffman is 'a love that I always wanted'

Windey took to Instagram after her appearance on "The View" to share snippets of her three-month relationship with Robby Hoffman. "Told you I’m a girls girl!!" she captioned the series of images from their time dating each other.

Hoffman responded by posting her own album of photos on her Instagram account, which concluded with a video of Windey excitedly running off the set of "The View." According to her bio, Hoffman is "a small ex-Hasidic queer Jewish stand-up comedian, writer, and true original."

Their relationship started with "we'll see where it goes" but soon turned into something that Windey could see working out long-term, she said on "The View."

"I could see the future, kind of, for once. And it just felt so right," she said. "Obviously, it's about sexuality, but it's also the person I met. She is so special. She makes me feel so safe, so loved. Like, a love that I always wanted going on these dating shows."

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Bachelor' star Gabby Windey reveals she's dating Robby Hoffman