David Archuleta sat down with ABC reporter Steve Osunsami in Nashville Tennessee where he lives to talk about recently coming out as LGBTQ. Part one of the interview, where he described his sexuality as somewhere on the bisexual spectrum, aired on Good Morning America Wednesday morning (June 23).
Part 2, which delved more into the American Idol season 7 runner-up’s struggle to accept his sexuality, in addition to how people he reached out to in the Mormon church reacted, aired later on Nightline.
David recently broke up with a girlfriend. It frustrated him that he noticed guys more than he noticed her
David revealed in the interview that he recently had a difficult breakup with a girlfriend, and realized that he may have been running away from his attraction to his same-sex his whole life.
“It got to a point where I felt so guilty…and I didn’t know why,” He added, “I was starting to get angry.” David had been upfront with his girlfriend. But still, he would become so frustrated. “I’ll be with her and…I noticed a guy more than I noticed my own girlfriend,” David added, “And I feel a lot of shame in that and I feel embarrassed.”
The break up with his girlfriend was the catalyst that led to his coming out post on Instagram last week, in which he revealed bisexual/asexual feelings, and that he he came out gay to his family in 2014. But now he says he has similar feelings for both genders and that he likely identifies on a spectrum of bisexual.
David says that his biggest challenge, and the reason he is being so open, is his Christian faith, as a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
David grieved as he finally understood that he could not change his sexuality. He questioned his faith
“When I started feeling numb and empty,” David said, “I was questioning my faith. I was questioning if God was real, because I couldn’t feel anything.” David continued. “And here I’d done everything I can to try and be close to him. And in these last couple months, I was starting to have to come to this conclusion.”
David admitted that he grieved realizing that his sexuality was something “I had to accept that it’s something I’m not going to be able to change.” He’s sharing publicly now because he wants to speak to people who are on the same journey of discovery. He hopes to reach out to people of faith, who he hopes can do better for LGBTQ+ friends and family.
David is still trying to figure out how attracted he is to people
“When I hear other people talking, and they have crushes and all that…I didn’t really I didn’t really feel any of that a whole lot.” David is still working it out. “I’m still trying to figure out how attracted I am to people. I think my guilt would get so heavy that I had the same feelings for guys. I was thinking I must be doing something wrong.”
David tried to “pray the gay away” so to speak. He believed that if he did everything he was supposed to, an all-powerful God, who performed countless miracles, could change him as well. “I think just in Christian culture, in religious culture in general…you start to believe that…feeling is wrong and is evil, and it’s corrupt, and it’s a sin.”
At a low point, David became suicidal, opening up to his mission president turned things around
At a low point, he became suicidal. “Maybe it’s better that I’m not here anymore than to live in a way that isn’t how God would want me to be living.” But eventually, he found relief confiding in an authority figure in the church.
David first came out to his LDS mission president. “I just felt like he was the person.” David was always afraid of what a man would think of him being attracted to other guys. “But to know that he wasn’t afraid of me, he just gave me a hug and he didn’t condemn me. He didn’t make me feel like I was less than.” David finally believed he could be loved no matter what.
“I finally said out loud, I have feelings for guys.”
It wasn’t until David was serving his mission in South America that he fully acknowledged his feelings. “I finally said out loud. I have feelings for guys.” David continued, “I never fully admitted to myself that I was going through that.” David thought he was pushing his feelings away, but really, he said, “I was just pushing it down.”
During that period of denial, David experienced “a lot of resentment, a lot of anger and a lot of confusion.” David couldn’t understand why living a Godly life didn’t “fix” him. “Why…I’m here and…all I’m doing is teaching people about God. Teaching them how to pray, and I still can’t get these feelings away and I’m not doing anything to provoke those feelings. So why do they keep coming?”
David also said he appreciated the recent coming out of NFL player Carl Nassib. Like Nassib, David just wants to help other people in the same situation.
“I do love the aspect of being proud of being who you are,” said David, “And that’s really the point of my post was to help people feel that love for themself and to be okay with themself.”