David Archuleta swooned the nation when he finished in second place on the seventh season of American Idol.
As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Archuleta has always prioritized his faith in his personal and professional career.
On June 12, 2021, Archuleta publicly came out in an honest and emotional Instagram post, which began his new journey of self-love and acceptance.
"I feel a lot more comfortable with myself. I've been able to sit with it for over a year now and explore that, and not judge myself so much for simply being the way that I am. It's been very freeing to do that, but it's also been difficult having to reidentify myself," Archuleta tells Out.
At 31 years old, the singer is now revealing the rocky road he endured with his faith and personal life to finally come to terms with his sexuality.
"Literally my purpose before was building up the kingdom of God and the greatest way do that was to marry a woman and have children with her. That was my ultimate goal for the first 30 years of my life. Now, I have to decide what it is as a queer person. I've been engaged three times. I bought three wedding rings for girls, but it felt dishonest."
While Archuleta is happy to finally be out of the closet, he's still struggling with the religious teachings he grew up listening to his entire life.
"The church could tell I was not being honest with them. Now that I'm being honest, the thing that [the church] taught me is backfiring. I just say I'm queer. I still don't know exactly where I am on the spectrum. I'm definitely more leaning towards guys. That's who I've been dating... are guys."
The singer-songwriter is now using his journey as inspiration for his music, with his latest single "Faith in Me" serving as an upbeat empowerment anthem.
"Since I've come out, it's been very difficult for me to write. Everything that I wrote about was spiritually driven. I'm at a place where I just want to have a moment of release, just breaking free, high energy [and] having fun. I rewrote the melody, rewrote a lot of the lyrics, and reflect more of where I'm at now after having come out and how it feels. It's that liberating feeling and I'm very happy with how it came out."
One of Archuleta's besties, Kevin McHale, directed the music video for "Faith in Me" and has even served as a bit of mentor to the singer.
"This is like the third or fourth video I've done with him and it's been a lot of fun. Kevin was one of my first friends that I called [after coming out] and he gave some advice. He was letting me ask, what I thought were really stange questions. What is it like after coming out? What is it like dating a guy? I was really appreciative of that."
Fans also have the opportunity to see Archuleta in person as he embarks on a holiday tour later this year.
"Christmas has always been my favorite time of year to do shows. They've been my favorite shows to do because they're hopeful, they're magical, and it takes you to this place of awe and wonder and all these miracles. But at the same time, I feel like it's a miracle that I've gotten to this place where I am accepting myself. I didn't think I ever could. I thought the only way that I could accept myself was if this part of me was gone and to get rid of it and praying that this part would no longer be associated with who I am. Now it's a miracle that I embrace this part of me and I love this part of me. I never had been able to say that I love myself."
To stream "Faith in Me" and get tickets for Archuleta's upcoming tour, visit his website. For the full interview with Archuleta, check out the video below.
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