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On Saturday, beloved "American Idol" alum David Archuleta opened up about his sexuality, saying that he is part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
“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 Instagram post. “I’ve been open to myself and my close family for some years now that I am not sure about my own sexuality.”
The 30-year-old singer then explained that although he came out as gay to his family in 2014, he isn't sure that is how he identifies today.
“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,” Archuleta wrote. “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.”
In 2008, Archuleta rose to prominence on the seventh season of "American Idol." He finished second, losing to rocker David Cook. Later that year, Archuleta released his first self-titled album, which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200.
On Saturday, the "Crush" singer urged his followers to be accepting of people who may be in the LGBTQIA+ community, noting that he is including a lot of letters in the acronym because of the diversity of experience that is included.
“There are people experiencing the same feelings of being LGBTQIA+, (i know that’s a lot of letters that a lot of people don’t understand, but there are a lot of unique experiences people feel and live that make them feel isolated and alone that are represented) who are wrestling to follow their beliefs that are so important to them, just as I have,” Archuleta said. “Idk what to make of it and I don’t have all the answers. I just invite you to please consider making room to be more understanding and compassionate to those who are LGBTQIA+, and those who are a part of that community and trying to find that balance with their faith which also is a huge part of their identity like myself.”
What does LGBTQIA+ stand for?
The letters in LGBTQIA+ stand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual, with the plus sign denoting other. Sometimes the "q" can be interpreted to also represent questioning as well, while the "a" can also represent agender.
Archuleta used his post on Saturday to encourage his religious followers, especially members of the Mormon church, to be more accepting of those who identify as LGBTQIA+, adding that “you can be part of the LGBTQIA+ community and still believe in god and his gospel plan.” The singer has been an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, even taking a two-year hiatus from his music career to be a missionary in Chile back in 2011.
“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. There are more than you may realize going through that wrestle after all the misunderstandings that come with it,” 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. I’ve yet to figure out what that means but I appreciate you listening to this personal matter. Again I don’t feel comfortable sharing it, but felt I needed to to bring more awareness to people in my same situation and let you know you’re not alone.”
“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,” he added. “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 and that it’s not just sexuality.”
Read his full post here:
During LGBTQ Pride Month, TODAY is sharing the community’s history, pain, joy and what’s next for the movement. We will be publishing personal essays, stories, videos and specials throughout the entire month of June. For more, head here.