Pop star and former Murray resident David Archuleta announced he is a member of the LGBTQ community on social media Saturday.
In posts on Instagram and Twitter, the “American Idol” finalist called for greater compassion for members of the LGBTQ community from religious people. Archuleta served a Latter-day Saint mission in Chile and has spoken publicly about how important his faith is to him.
“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 said in the post. “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.”
“You can be part of the LGBTQIA+ community,” Archuleta wrote, “and still believe in God and his gospel plan.”
The 30-year-old said he struggled with his sexual identity for decades before realizing he was created the way he is for a reason.
“I’ve tried for almost 20 years to try and change myself until I realized God made me how I am for a purpose,” he wrote. “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.”
Archuleta did not specifically label his sexuality. He said he came out as gay to his family in 2014, but later realized he has similar feelings for both genders. He also has less sexual urges than most people, which some would label asexuality. Archuleta said his lower sex drive works for him since he plans to save himself for marriage.
Other celebrities, religious people and members of the LGBTQ community left supportive comments for Archuleta on his posts.
“I am so proud of you and proud to know you,” Jordin Sparks wrote on Instagram. “You are so loved, David.”
“Thanks so much for being open about this,” posted another Instagram user. “It’s so important for Latter-day Saints who don’t identify as straight to know that we aren’t alone, and it’s so important for all members to be reminded that everybody has a place in Christ’s gospel!”
One Twitter user thanked Archuleta and said reconciling being Muslim with an LGBTQ identity has been a source of similar struggles.
“We all have our personal relationship with a higher power (if we choose to) and deserve a space,” reads the tweet. “Thanks @DavidArchie.”