In an emotional video David Archuleta posted over the weekend, he explains why he’s not motivated to complete his “OK All Right” tour next month. He’s still going out on the road. He’s not quitting! But then the singer takes the next 50 minutes to explain why he’s having a hard time finding the motivation to fulfill his goals these days.
Basically, the American Idol season 7 singer is wrestling with his newfound acceptance of himself as LGBTQiA, and what his religion, Latter Day Saints or the Mormon Church expects of him to remain faithful.
David is coming to the realization that he’s attracted to men in a way that he just is not with women. He’s tried and tried. But in the end, he doesn’t feel an emotional connection to the women he’s dated.
The Christmas tour became “very draining and exhausting emotionally to do”
After explaining that It’s been “very difficult” for him to get ready for the tour and get into it, he states that other factors in his life have affected his motivation and energy. Even the Christmas tour he just finished, something he normally loves, became “very draining and exhausting emotionally to do.”
He’s sure that his sadness and exhaustion have to do with coming out as LGBTQIA last year, and “trying to understand what that means for me, and the changes and adjustments it’s made into my life.”
“I’ve always felt very strong towards being a Latter-Day Saint AKA Mormon,” explains David. “And I always have been very faithful to it.” However, “It’s been very difficult.”
“…they’ve adjusted their views over the last few years about how to look at LGBTQ people. Church leaders say “it’s okay, to feel attracted to the same sex.” But they’ve also said “don’t act on it…don’t go to far with it.
David tried to make relationships with women work, but he couldn’t
Marriage is everything in the Mormon church. But only between a man and a woman. David grew up believing and defending the Mormon perspective on marriage. “I’m going to get married and have kids and have a wife and get married in the temple and gonna live happily ever after,” is how David always believed his life would go. “Well, I’ve I’ve tried to make that work and it’s been very difficult, clearly, because of my sexuality.”
“In our culture today…we really want this romantic electrifying experience. And when it came to those aspects of a relationship. I just couldn’t provide them. Not to a woman. And I tried I’ve tried several times,” David confessed.
While the women believed they had a connection with David, inside he felt like a “pretender,” like he was playing a part. And the more he faked the part, the more guilt and shame he felt. “You start feeling bitter towards the girl.” David continues. “I didn’t even want to see them anymore. I was afraid to talk to them because I knew that they thought this connection was being built.”
“But the problem was I was an imposter,” David says. “But they felt like the part I was playing was genuine and that there was a this kind of connection..,almost like a fairy tale. And I looked at it as more like a business relationship.”
“I didn’t want to be in that reality TV show anymore.”
“The [Mormon church] leaders [I’ve talked] to said ‘maybe gay relationships, but no marriage. Because that would mean that you want unnatural ways of having sex.”
At 31 years old, David realizes he doesn’t want to play the part anymore, because “even in the short amount of time I’m playing this part, it is driving me crazy. I’m feeling like I’m going nuts because, I don’t feel that connection that they think I’m feeling.” David compares it to being in a reality TV show. “I didn’t want to be in that reality TV show anymore.”
Coming to the realization that he’s attracted to men was very hard to accept. “…because religiously. I was already doing the right thing because I already knew I was attracted to guys, but I thought, well, I’m attracted enough to women that I can make this work.”
David grew up believing that having same sex relationships lead to suffering and “hell”
However, David grew up believing that “If you acknowledge that you’re attracted to men and do anything about it, you’re going to suffer. You’re going to be sad. You’re going to lose this light in you. So I that’s why I just kept trying to make [relationships with women] work.
“I thought there’s no way I can accept that I’m into guys…and be happy and be okay with myself. Be okay with God. God’s always been very important to me. And so that’s the last option I want to take. But it literally became the last option for me at a certain point.”
David continues, “…in my church they talk about…if you’re attracted to the same sex, it’s a challenge you’re given. It’s a temptation. And after this life, you won’t have that anymore.” But he wonders, “What’s worse? For me to pretend for the rest of my life that I don’t have [same sex attraction] and just to look like I’m happy with someone that causes all this confusion and disconnect and bitterness…and anger and even hatred [for yourself].
“I always thought that would be letting everyone down.”
“The alternative is to give into those emotions which at a certain point if you’re religious…I’m basically choosing hell. I’m choosing damnation. and, But you…can’t keep it down anymore. You’ve been pushing it down all your life.”
David shared how at one point, he thought of ending his life. “What if God wants me to be stick around even if I’m gay or LGBT? Which is something I never thought was okay before.” At this point he begins to cry. “I always thought that would be letting everyone down.” He adds, “It’s so hard when it’s programmed in your mind to believe that.”
David laments how many people characterize gay attraction as being all about sex and lust. “So many people think being gay is [only wanting] physical, sexual relations and to give in to those burning desires of lusting. It’s like, no!”
There’s so many other aspects to wanting to be in a gay relationship than just a sexual aspect. It’s that connection.
“It is the same way a heterosexual person would want to fall in love with them. Are you are you thinking only about sex when you want to marry someone and share your life with someone? No!” David continues, “You want to connect with them on an emotional level. You want to share goals with them. You want to do things together and go out to eat or make breakfast or lunch, or watch a movie, or go on a walk together. There’s so many other aspects to wanting to be in a gay relationship than just a sexual aspect. It’s that connection that I had to pretend I could offer to to the girls that I wasn’t really feeling.”
But David struggles to let go of what the church taught him. That gay relationships are wrong. Even though he’s coming around to the idea that “God doesn’t see it the same way a lot of people see it. Even a lot of Christians, a lot of religious people who mean well.” David admits, “I was a religious person who was meaning well.” He adds, “I need to accept this place of where I am now and I may have to be open to what I wasn’t open to before including about myself.”
Yet, “I don’t know what it means for me anymore with my beliefs. I always looked at it as an all or nothing approach. They’re all true or it’s all not. You can’t just pick the parts that you like.”
“There’s a greater likelihood for me to marry a guy than a woman at this point.”
“I wasn’t looking at marriage so that I can have sex,” David insists, “I looked at marriage as wanting to share your life with someone you care about. And wanting to help them reach their goals, and have them help you reach your goals and create goals together. Have a family. However, you are able to.”
David continues, “How come we have compassion when other situations don’t work the way we say God intended for them with marriage [single parents, divorced parents], but with people in my situation, LGBT, it’s so hard for us to have compassion for the exceptions that they may need to still make their life work in the similar way that the way heterosexual relationships work?”
“People in my community where I found God feel like I need to be pushed out now”
David is afraid that that his religious community will ostracize him. “For some reason, people in my community where I found God feel like I need to be pushed out now because of something that’s hard for them to understand.” David adds, “And I don’t think everyone’s like that. I feel like a lot of people, even in the church culture I grew up in, are very compassionate towards LGBT. I mean, more than I was, and maybe it’s because I had so much [hatred] towards myself.”
“I’m on a journey and I’m have a lot of questions,” David says, “My whole world has been all shook up. What’s my purpose now? Because it was always my beliefs.”
Some people in his church have suggested he not get married in this life, because, “after this life, you’ll find a spouse to be with forever.” But for David, “That doesn’t feel correct to me. Like what if I want to be with a guy?” Those people respond, “Oh, well, then you’re in trouble. That’s very difficult for me.”
“From my own conversations with God,” David says, “I’ve had to open up my mind. And it’s very difficult because I feel this tug of war.”
“If I end up with a guy and if I marry a man, does that mean my spirituality is out the door.” David answers his own question. “No. I’ve met men who are married and are Christians, who believe in God.”
“If they want to be faithful to someone that they love and they happen to be the same sex…I think that is fair.”
“If they want to be faithful to someone that they love and they happen to be the same sex. And they want to serve and they want to be kind and they want to help other people and they want to be in a committed relationship with someone they love I think that is fair.” David believes. “And I feel like it’s fair for me to want that and to pursue that as well. And even if people are upset about it, that’s okay. I just don’t want people to say ‘come back you’ve left God’ How do you know?”
“I don’t understand why people have to sexualize homosexuality so much.”
“People tell you this is what God thinks,” David says, “And they make him seem a lot more hateful and a lot more judgmental and a lot more like that he hates that you are living gay.” David reiterates that being in a same sex relationship “doesn’t mean you’re going around sleeping with everybody. I don’t understand why people have to sexualize homosexuality so much.”
David’s struggle affects everything he does. “It affects my relationships, not just romantic. Of course it affects my work. I haven’t able to write anything. I haven’t felt inspired to write any new songs. I’ve tried. I don’t feel any inspiration. Makes me very unmotivated.”
“I have a lot of questions with these conflicts between these core beliefs I’ve had all my life and now these new beliefs I’m gaining,” says David. “I feel like it’s for the better. That’s why I hope I just pray that God gives me grace.”
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