David Archuleta is opening up about his public coming out journey, and the role his religion and God played when it came time to share his truth with the world.
In a recent online interview with the Today Show, the singer-songwriter, who is a Mormon missionary and vocal member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said that a crisis of faith in the moments leading up to his public, June coming out lead him to be more open, honest, and vulnerable when it comes to talking about his sexuality.
"I was literally outside doing my yard work, pulling weeds," he recalled. "I kind of went through a faith crisis for a month, when I was in the process of breaking up with this girl I was in a relationship with. But I felt so disconnected from everything. My anxiety had gotten so bad. I was like, 'I don't even remember how it feels to be close to God or to even have feelings for anybody.' Or, I don't even know how I feel about myself right now.”
"When I had that prayer, God just said, 'David, you know I trust you, right? I want you to post about what you're going through right now.' And it was just so clear what I needed to say. I knew exactly what I needed to say but I feel uncomfortable saying it because I like to keep to myself, especially with this kind of stuff. But I just knew I had to."
Archuleta also told Today that he was surprised at the overwhelming amount of support he got following his public coming out (at the time of writing, Archuleta's coming-out post has garnered over 177,000+ likes on Instagram), especially from people on both sides of the ideological spectrum.
"I was shocked because I thought, 'OK, this is probably gonna be a bigger deal, maybe I'll get 30,000 or 40,000 likes, if that,' because I know this is a controversial topic and a lot of people have assumed things about me and tried to label me in the past," he said. "But it exploded. I didn't realize all the media outlets were going to talk about it, but the way that they did, it was so respectful.”
"A lot of conservative Christians follow what I do because that's my own upbringing and I'm still involved in that community," Archuleta continued. "What are they gonna think of me now? But everyone on both sides...I was just amazed at how supportive and loving everyone was generally, for the most part, and for me, it was just a huge tender mercy."
The 30-year-old "Crush" singer, who is probably best known for coming in at second place during season seven of American Idol, first came out in an emotional Instagram post earlier this year during Pride Month to his 438,000+ followers where he revealed that he had previously come out as gay in private to his family years ago, but is still on a journey of self-discovery after finding himself attracted to multiple genders.
"I came out in 2014 as gay to my family," Archuleta wrote. "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. There are people experiencing the same feelings of being LGBTQIA+, (I know that’s a lot of letters that a lot of people don’t understand, but there are a lot of unique experiences people feel and live that make them feel isolated and alone that are represented) who are wrestling to follow their beliefs that are so important to them, just as I have. Idk what to make of it and I don’t have all the answers. I just invite you 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."
"I think we can do better as people of faith and Christians, including Latter-day Saints, to listen more to the wrestle between being LGBTQIA+ and a person of faith," he continued. "There are more than you may realize going through that wrestle after all the misunderstandings that come with it. I don’t think it should come down to feeling you have to accept one or the other. 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."
In a follow-up interview with Good Morning America, Archuleta then said that though he still doesn't know exactly where he identifies on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, he did call himself "some form of being bisexual because I'm still attracted to both, whether I want to or not."
"There's so much relief to not feel like you have to hide a part of yourself, like a secret," Archuleta told GMA.
"I've prayed. I was praying like, 'God, you can do all things.' I would say, 'Please take these feelings away from me because I don't want to feel things that I shouldn't and I don't want to feel things that would be wrong.' That's been the process. I've had to learn how to love myself even when I don't understand why I am the way I am, but to learn that that's how God has created me and I have to discover that."