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David Archuleta reveals struggles with sexuality and Mormon faith, urges 'compassion' toward LGBTQ+ community

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David Archuleta opened up about his struggles with his sexuality and faith in an emotional Instagram post on Saturday, calling for more "compassion" for those going through such experiences. The singer and American Idol alum, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as Mormons), said he has long been uncertain of his sexuality and struggled to reconcile this uncertainty with his religious faith.

"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 his lengthy post. "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."

Michael Tullberg/Getty Images David Archuleta in 2019

Archuleta went on to urge "more understanding" and compassion toward "those who are LGBTQIA+" and "trying to find that balance with their faith which also is a huge part of their identity like myself."

"I think we can do better as people of faith and Christians, including Latter-day Saints, to listen more to the wrestle between being LGBTQIA+ and a person of faith," he wrote. "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."

Like many Christian denominations, the LDS Church has long held that homosexual activity and same-sex marriage are forbidden by God. The Church revised its stance on same-sex marriage in 2019, reversing a 2015 declaration that couples in legal same-sex unions would be considered "apostate." However, such a marriage is still considered "a serious transgression" and officially opposed by the LDS Church. The Church's stance on LGTBQ equality has long been controversial even within its membership.

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"For people who don't really understand how feelings outside of just being heterosexual can be possible and ok I just plead that you be more understanding to people who experience and struggle with things that you may not experience and understand yourself," Archuleta continued in his post. "I've tried for almost 20 years to try and change myself until I realized God made me how I am for a purpose. And instead of hating what I have considered wrong I need to see why God loved me for who I am."

"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."

Archuleta has long been open about his religious faith, and spent two years as a missionary in Chile following his 2008 run on American Idol. "When I went on my mission, it kind of gave me a step away from everything, and I was able to grow up a little bit, on my own, without everyone watching me," the singer told The Salt Lake Tribune in 2017.

"Maybe there are other people out there who are having a hard time finding their worth, feeling like they're good enough, and I can tell them a little bit about my challenge with those insecurities, and finding a purpose in spirituality," he added. "I dared to not be afraid to be a Mormon in the entertainment industry."

Archuleta's most recent studio album, Therapy Sessions, was released in May 2020.

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