'American Idol' Alum David Archuleta Comes out as LGBTQIA+ Member During Pride Month

Former American Idol contestant David Archuleta came out as LGBTQIA+ in an Instagram post this past Saturday amid Pride Month. Archuleta is among the best-known Idol runners-up, finishing second behind David Cook in 2008. In his post, Archuleta wrote how he was unsure about coming out publicly because he comes from a religious background. He reveals he came out as gay to his family in 2014 but has since learned more about his sexuality.

"I like to keep to myself but also thought this was important to share because I know so many other people from religious upbringings feel the same way," the 30-year-old singer began. "I've been open to myself and my close family for some years now that I am not sure about my own sexuality. I came out in 2014 as gay to my family. But then I had similar feelings for both genders so maybe a spectrum of bisexual. Then I also have learned I don’t have too much sexual desires and urges as most people... which works I guess because I have a commitment to save myself until marriage. Which people call asexual when they don’t experience sexual urges."

Archuleta noted that he is not alone, adding that others with similar religious backgrounds have the "same feelings of being LGBTQIA+," but are struggling with their beliefs. Although the "Crush" singer said he does not have all the answers, he invited people to "please consider making room to be more understanding and compassionate to those who are LGBTQIA+, and those who are a part of that community and trying to find that balance with their faith which also is a huge part of their identity like myself."

Although Archuleta was born in Miami, he spent most of his childhood in Utah and grew up as a member of the Mormon Church. He wrote that "people of faith and Christians, including Latter-day Saints" can "do better" to listen more to the struggle of being LGBTQIA+ and a "person of faith." He noted that there are many more people who share this same struggle.

"I don’t think it should come down to the feeling you have to accept one or the other," Archuleta wrote. "For me to find peace the reality has been to accept both are real things I experience and make who I am. I’ve yet to figure out what that means but I appreciate you listening to this personal matter. Again I don’t feel comfortable sharing it, but felt I needed to... bring more awareness to people in my same situation and let you know you’re not alone. You can be part of the LGBTQIA+ community and still believe in God and His gospel plan."

He later pleaded with people who "don’t really understand how feelings outside of just being heterosexual can be possible and ok" to be more understanding to those with the same struggle as himself. "I’ve tried for almost 20 years to try and change myself until I realized God made me how I am for a purpose," he wrote. "And instead of hating what I have considered wrong, I need to see why God loved me for who I am and that it’s not just sexuality. So many other traits of who I am come from how I’ve been created."

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In the end, Archuleta asked those reading to "please have compassion" for those living differently "than what you've been raised to believe is right" and "because it’s most likely been an exhausting journey for them to be ok with the feelings they have and never have been able to change." He believes it is important to be open to "both questions and to faith," which is "how we receive answers." He continued, "God blesses those who ask. So let’s keep asking and seeking, and having compassion and patience. Thank you for listening."

Since appearing on American Idol, Archuleta has released eight studio albums. His most recent, Therapy Sessions, was released in May 2020. In 2012, he took a break from his music career to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Chile. The letters in LGBTQIA+ stand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual, and the plus sign represents other. "Q" can also represent questioning, while the "a" can also represent agender.