When he captivated the judges and America in Season 7, David Archuleta was only a teenager, and his sexuality rightfully had no place in the contest. And he wouldn’t even come to terms with it for several years. While he revealed to his family he was gay in 2014, Archuleta wouldn’t address his sexuality publicly for another seven years. In 2021, Archuleta revealed he was still trying to understand where he fell in the LGBTQ+ spectrum, noting he was unsure whether he identified as gay, bisexual, or asexual.

“I’ve been open to myself and my close family for some years now that I am not sure about my own sexuality,” he wrote in a Facebook post. Archuleta’s journey was made more complicated by his upbringing. Archuleta was raised Mormon, a faith that puts great value on traditional marital and reproductive notions, he explained on “The Jennifer Hudson Show” in 2022. He believed in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ precepts and wanted to be a part of it.

Archuleta was even engaged to women, which led to anxiety and suicidal ideation, he told People in 2022. He tried talking to church leaders about their position on LGBTQ+ issues, but it was useless. So he left the church. “I can’t keep putting myself in a place where it’s so conflicting where they say, ‘We love you so much, but at the same time, you must change who you are,'” he said.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

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