David shared about his “process” coming out in June 2021. “I grew up very religious….Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka Mormons. For them, everything is about marriage, about being able to marry someone and procreate essentially because then that’s the closest you can become like God, be creating life.”
“No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t desire them the way that they wanted”
David tried hard to be what the church expected. “I tried everything I could. I almost got married several times. They would always say like, why are you so cold? Did I do something wrong? No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t desire them the way that they wanted to, the way they deserved really. And so I was wondering, did I do something wrong?”
“It’s been, it’s been very interesting learning how to separate yourself from…this is what I was taught. This is the most important thing you do. This is all that matters, and not be able to fit that mold. But I have been learning how to love myself.”
On stepping away from the Mormon church: “The assumptions were that LGBT people, all that they think about is sex”
David also shared about what it’s been like to step away from the Mormon church. “I did have to take a step away because, after trying to talk to some of the church leaders and explain to them my situation, I realized there’s a lot of lack of understanding with LGBT people. Because when I talk to them, it seemed like the assumptions were that LGBT people, all that they think about is sex, and it’s all about sex. And so people think it’s an evil thing. So you think I must there must be something evil about me and I need to change this about me. And no matter how hard you try, you can’t.
On his past relationships with women, David said, “I got engaged three times, they were all wonderful girls, but you just think ‘I’m a failure, this evil is going to consume me, what should I do?’. I don’t want to be evil in God’s sight. I don’t want to betray him. So you start thinking, no matter how hard, no matter how much you pray, how much you fast, you start thinking, ‘well, is it better if I just…'” And David takes a pause here. “Just not, I’m not here anymore, you know, you just consider, because if I’m here, this is eventually going to explode out of me and I’m going to become evil. And you don’t want that to happen. You want to be good with God.”
“I received thousands and thousands of messages, people going through the same thing”
Here, David talks about the hours before he took to Instagram to share his coming out story. About how God told him that he needed to stop asking God to change him. “You’re asking me the wrong thing because I don’t intend to change you. You’ve been spending over half of your life now praying about this asking me to change something that I don’t intend to change, because I created you like this.”
For David, being honest and open about coming out will help other people going through the same thing. “When I came out publicly I received thousands and thousands of messages, people going through the same thing saying, ‘I’m the same way and I’ve tried so hard to fit in and I just don’t feel like, there’s any way for me to belong, no matter how hard I try.’ I realize there’s so many people secretly scared of who they are and they’re not bad people at all.”
“You can still have a family being part of the LGBT community”
His meetings with Mormon church leaders were ultimately frustrating. They told him, “You can get to know guys, but don’t get married because then you’re just having unnatural sex.” David’s anger is palpable here. “I was just like, it’s so interesting that you talk about marriage as if it’s only about sex, because the way you’ve you’ve raised me to believe marriage is it’s a beautiful partnership where you want to share your life with them, help someone progress and help them reach their goals. Create a family. Here, David advocates for LGBT families. “Even if it’s not the way that I was taught that it needed to look, you can still have a family being part of the LGBT community.”
Watch the discussion between American Idol alums David Archuleta and Jennifer Hudson below.