One of “American Idol’s” more memorable runner-ups, David Archuleta, revealed that he identifies as bisexual and asexual. He is also encouraging people from religious backgrounds like his own to respect those that are wrestling with their own identities.
Archuleta, who placed second behind David Cook in 2008 during the show’s seventh season, came out in an emotional Instagram post on Saturday. The “Crush” singer also detailed his struggles to reconcile his sexual identity with his Mormon upbringing.
“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,” Archuleta 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 how easy it can be for LGBTQIA+ individuals to feel isolated in their struggles to understand themselves, a struggle that is often further complicated by religion. He invited people of faith to make room for “more understanding” and compassion for those reconciling such important elements of their identity.
“I think we can do better as people of faith and Christians, including Latter-day Saints,” he continued, “To listen more to the wrestle between being LGBTQIA+ and a person of faith. 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….You can be part of the LGBTQIA+ community and still believe in God and His gospel plan.”
The Church of Latter-day Saints has long held a controversial stance on LGBTQ equality, specifically that homosexual activity and same-sex marriage are forbidden by God. The Church revised this stance in 2019, reversing a 2015 declaration that couples in legal same-sex unions would be considered “apostate.” However, such a marriage is still deemed “a serious transgression” and is officially opposed by the LDS Church.
“I’ve tried for almost 20 years to try and change myself until I realized God made me how I am for a purpose,” Archuleta’s post continued, “And instead of hating what I have considered wrong I need to see why God loved me for who I am.”
Archuleta went on to explain that he understands how the topic can be confusing for people. However, he is advocating for an open dialogue that can hopefully lead to common ground and greater acceptance.
“Even if you’re left with so many more questions with faith and sexuality like me I believe being open to both questions and to faith is how we receive answers,” he concluded, “God blesses those who ask. So let’s keep asking and seeking, and having compassion and patience.”