David Archuleta attends the 35th GLAAD Media Awards - Los Angeles at The Beverly Hilton on March 14, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. Source: Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for GLAAD

From 'Idol' to Icon: David Archuleta Celebrates His New Queer Voice on Social Media

Shawn Laib READ TIME: 5 MIN.

"American Idol" fans from the late 2000s will likely remember David Archuleta's adorable and talented performances. The Miami native displayed a genuine love for his craft and captured the attention of millions worldwide with his voice and disarming smile. His signature song, "Crush," ironically held a deeper meaning regarding novel romantic feelings for someone. Meanwhile, Archuleta was secretly struggling with a confusion over his sexuality that was exacerbated by the strict teachings of the Mormon Church.

Archuleta came out as LGBTQ+ in 2021, later saying he identifies as queer, and has continued to fluidly navigate his sexuality with honesty and humor on social media, especially TikTok. As he experiences queer awakenings for the first time in his 30s, Archuleta has brought his fans along on his journey of self-discovery. While some people might be ashamed of becoming late bloomers, the singer has used his music and optimism to show that it's never too late to be your true self.

Being religious and queer can be one of the most complicated identities in the world. Archuleta's most recent song, "Hell Together," eloquently expresses his realization that his family was willing to step away from the damaging parts of Mormonism together for his sake. Archuleta's song is a powerful rejection of this horror and an acceptance to only live for the tangible love of his family in the present.

Archuleta takes fans behind the scenes of his music video for another of his sexually liberating songs, "I'm Yours." The combination of upbeat tempo, colorful lights, and clothing makes the musical experience an amalgamation of Archuleta's freedom from the drab doldrums of the closet. Fans express their pride in Archuleta and hope he can continue to heal from his past trauma with the mirth of music.

@davidarchie I just felt like doing this idk why πŸ˜‚ 🌦️ @Natasha Bedingfield ♬ Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield

Paying homage to pop royalty Natasha Bedingfield, Archuleta slays a lip-sync rendition of "Unwritten." He feels the rain on his shirtless body and shows the fans that he might take a dip in the swimming pool despite the bad weather.

@davidarchie I'm an ex-Mormon, of course... πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ #HellTogether link in bio. #newmusic ♬ Hell Together - David Archuleta

Archuleta joins one of TikTok's most recent trends with his own spin: "I'm an ex-Mormon, of course I..." He gently pokes fun at some of the restrictive measures the faith asks of their followers, from abstaining from sex to never drinking alcohol. Other former Mormons in the comments section got a good kick out of it, and agreed with his sentiments. It's wonderful for Archuleta to inspire others who felt like him to walk away from religions that may have put locks on people's true selves.

@davidarchie Last night's fit πŸ’œπŸ«ΆπŸΌ #glaadawards Styled by @Lil_saigon HMU by @Joseph Adivari ♬ daddys home - rain

Archuleta attended the GLAAD Awards in March and showed off his pristine purple look for TikTok to admire. Fashion is a powerful tool for self-expression, and Archuleta is using it to shout his truth from the rooftops (or, well, red carpets). Since his coming out journey began, he's fully embraced a more colorful aesthetic, proving that style can be a vibrant reflection of who you are on the inside.

@davidarchie Thank you πŸ₯ΉπŸ™πŸ½
♬ original sound - David Archuleta

Archuleta's genuine gratitude is a major reason why he's so beloved. Fans can always count on him to express his appreciation for their global support. Just late last year he solidified this reputation with a heartfelt video message, giving a shoutout to his loyal followers. The comments section overflowed with fans reminiscing about their years of supporting Archuleta, highlighting the enduring connection he's built with his audience.

@davidarchie Working on them gains πŸ’ͺ🏼 #fitness #afraidtolove ♬ Afraid To Love - House Remix - David Archuleta

Archuleta's fitness journey isn't just about physical gains - it's a celebration of self-acceptance! In this montage, he sets his workout routine to a pumping remix of his song "Afraid to Love," showcasing his moves and newfound confidence after coming out.

@davidarchie Happy 15th anniversary to this one! πŸ₯³ #Crush #PopMusic ♬ Crush - David Archuleta

Archuleta knows how much his fans still enjoy "Crush" from his "Idol" days. He celebrates the 15th anniversary of the song with a car rendition, asking his fans to sing along if they remember the words. Many fans want the singer to re-record the song in 2024, since Archuleta's vocals still sound incredible!

@davidarchie #duet with @allanmount #davidarchuleta ♬ Chill Hip hop 37(932007) - 212soundworks

This fan decided to get personal about his fandom of David Archuleta, which dates back to when he was 16 years old, nearly two decades ago. Archuleta watches as the man discusses how inspirational the singer has been for all these years, how he and the man's wife have enjoyed watching his journey, and how Archuleta's authenticity and pure soul have always made him a unique singer in the music industry.

@davidarchie Yeah.... I tried πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ #fail #videoxfoto #queer ♬ My Heart Will Go On (Titanic) - Maliheh Saeedi & Faraz Taali

Archuleta jokes about the three different times he tried to convince himself he was attracted to women by getting engaged, leading to a discussion in the comments section about how often closeted individuals feel they have to do the same. If we lived in a world without homophobia, gay people wouldn't need to use the opposite gender as a cover.

@davidarchie Replying to @Richardson ♬ original sound - David Archuleta

Archuleta explains how it can still be jarring for him to break away from his Mormon upbringing by making references to sexual innuendos and making jokes about the human body on TikTok. Other former Mormons said it was part of the deconstruction process. Still, even non-Mormons can learn from how Archuleta has given himself time and space to reorganize his life and give himself patience.

by Shawn Laib

Read These Next