David Archuleta made a deeply personal video post on his Instagram account about his struggle meshing his homosexual life with his LDS life.
“I go insane if I don’t let out whatever is inside of me,” Archuletta begins. “But I just can’t help it.”
Archuletta said it has been challenging to prepare for an upcoming tour, which was supposed to happen in 2020 but was postponed because of the pandemic.
“I have to be honest. It has been difficult for me to get ready for this tour,” he said while ensuring he wouldn’t cancel it. “Other factors in my life have affected my motivation and energy to put into touring.”
He said he hasn’t written anything recently, which he said happens in phases. He most recently did a Christmas tour, which he called wonderful, but very difficult, both physically and emotionally.
“I feel it has to do with the past year and coming out, and what that means for me, and the changes and adjustments it’s made in my life,” he said. “I know it’s affected my view on things and my beliefs. I’ve grown up in a religion that I’ve always felt very strongly towards, being a Latter-day Saint, a gay Mormon.
“I was always taught that marriage was everything,” he continued, “If you were married in the temple, you were with them for time ad eternity, even after death, which is a beautiful thought if you love that person and that you can continue growing and progressing on an eternal journey together. That’s what I wanted. I grew up believing that and defending that because I believed this is what God intended. I was going to get married and have kids and have a wife and get married in the temple and live happily ever after.”
“Well, I tried to make that work,” he said. “And clearly, that wasn’t going to work because my sexuality did not leave me with the inclination to have those desires.”
He said that he tried and tried to express himself sexually with a woman, but it couldn’t happen.
“When it came to those aspects of a relationship, I just couldn’t provide them … not to a woman!” he said. “It’s something that’s expected. You want that chemistry.”
He said he felt his relationships were more like he was performing in a play where he was in the role of a man courting a woman, wanting children, and living happily ever after.
“I felt like I was an imposter because I could see the way whoever I was dating was reacting, and thinking ‘do they not realize I’m not that. I’m just playing the part because I was supposed to?'” he said. “And the part I was playing felt genuine, and there was this certain kind of connection that was romantically going on, like a fairy tale, and I looked at it as more of a business relationship, like ‘This is what we are supposed to do. We are supposed to get married. But they wanted more of a personable connection.”
He said he couldn’t provide that.
He said he was taught that it would eventually come naturally to him if he played that part. But he felt he was pretending to be something that he is not.
“I eventually came to the conclusion that this was happening because I was attracted to men,” he said. “In my religion, it was okay to be attracted to men but still marry a woman because that’s the right thing to do. That’s the eternal perspective. That’s what’s going to really make you happy.”
“If you acknowledge that you’re attracted to men and do anything about it, you’re going to suffer; you’re going to be sad; you’re going to lose this light in you,” he said. So he kept trying to make it work.
“But I started getting so depressed it was like life wasn’t worth living anymore,” he continued. “I’d rather not live than live like I’m pretending, just to make everyone else think I’m happy.
He said it felt insincere and dishonest. He’d seen others in the same situation try to live their lives that way, and he didn’t like the result. He didn’t like the idea of having to tolerate life until it ends.
“I feel like we are here to enjoy this life,” he said, rather than tolerate it.
He said that up until the point he came out, he’d never thought of the idea of wanting a sexual relationship with a man. He was only focused on getting married to a woman and living his beliefs. His church, he said, said that “same-sex attraction” was a “challenge” in his current life, a temptation that would go away in the next life. He said that taking the route to a relationship with a male was the last option, to be okay with himself and to be okay with his god.
“But it literally became the last option,” he said. “What’s worse? For me to pretend for the rest of my life that I don’t have that and to just look like I’m happy?”
“At some point, I thought, ‘What would God prefer? For me to live a ‘sinful’ life? Living in a gay relationship? Letting myself love someone romantically that’s the same sex as me? Is that better than not being here and not existing?” he asked. “What’s worse, because probably ending my life is also bad.”
“So you start playing with those ideas — which one’s worse. And you start thinking, ‘Ending my life doesn’t seem so bad. That way, I don’t have to lie,'” he said. “And if I stick around that temptation is going to be ever before me, and that’s wrong, and I feel like I’m about to give in to that’s acceptable and that’s how I am, so maybe it’s better to end the sinful person; to end the sin; than to let it grow and destroy me because maybe if I die, I’ll have a better chance at salvation than if I were to live gay.”
“It’s a wrestle that goes on in your head, back and forth.”
He said it was a very tempting idea to end his life because being gay would mean letting everyone down, especially God and his future kids.
“And then you think, what if [God] is okay with you not being perfect?” he asked. “Maybe if I stick around, I can make up for my sin of being into guys. So then one moment I realized that if God is really there because there was a moment I had to disconnect myself from God because the idea that he was there and I was disappointing him … when I tried all my life to please him and to just give in to the thing I thought he was telling me to avoid, I felt like I was a failure.”
“Until one day. I was still praying, and I just prayed to God, and I said, ‘God, if you’re there, then please just take this away from me,” he continued.
“I realized at that moment that there is a god. He loves me how I am, and he did want me to stick around and be alive, and I didn’t have to change myself because I wasn’t going to be able to. He said, ‘David, you need to stop asking me this because I’m not going to change this. You can see at this point, 30 years into your life … you’ve been praying about this for over half your life. I’m not going to change this. And you need to understand why. I created you the way that you are.'”
He went on to ask why there isn’t compassion for same-sex relationships and marriages within the LDS Church while there is for others like those who can’t have children or who are single parents.
He also talked about how some within his church, and some close to him, are more accepting of him than he was before he began to come to terms with his sexuality.
“It’s difficult because I’m on a journey, and I have a lot of questions,” he said. “My whole world’s been shook up.”
He wonders what his purpose is now since his beliefs were always different.
“When people tell you what God thinks, they make him seem more hateful and a lot more judgmental,” he said.
“I lived my career for a more eternal perspective in mind,” he said. “And when it shifts, and I don’t fit that perspective anymore, will I be knocked off? And what is going to be my purpose then? Because for 30 years, I lived it for this, and now what?”
He says he feels a loss of identity and meaning because he lived his life for his church.
“But at least I’m still here,” he said. “I feel like it’s for the better. That’s what I hope.”
“I just pray that God gives me grace, and I feel like he does. Maybe I just pray that I have experiences that make me feel like I have more grace with myself. And hopefully, in the process, I can help other people find more grace for people like me and, if there are people like me out there, they can find more grace for themselves.”