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David Archuleta Releases Song Inspired by Mom’s Reaction to His Coming Out and Leaving Church

by Joel McDonald

March 28, 2024

David Archuleta became a household name in 2008 when he competed on American Idol and came in second. The world was introduced to the young man, just 17 years old, with amazing vocal and performing talent. Part of his story shared on the show was his and his family’s devout membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

After the show, David released four albums and then, in 2012, began his two-year service as a full-time missionary for the Church in Chile. He returned home to Utah in 2014 and has continued to release albums and perform.

In 2021, David shared publicly that he was unsure about his sexuality and had been open about this with friends and family since 2014. Later, he would describe himself as queer and then later asexual. One of his reasons for coming out publically was to “bring more awareness to people in my same situation and let you know you’re not alone. You can be part of the LGBTQIA+ community and still believe in God and His gospel plan.”

In 2023, David confirmed that he had left the Church.

Today, David released his new song, “Hell Together,” inspired by his mom’s reaction to him coming out and leaving the Church. David shared the story behind the song on TikTok, saying, “When I came out and also left my church, when that was made public, I didn’t hear from my mom for a few days. I thought, ‘Oh no, she’s probably so upset with me.’ But then, she sent me a message saying she also was stepping away from the Church and said, ‘I don’t want to be somewhere where you don’t feel welcome, and if you’re going to hell, then we’re going to hell together.'” David has also shared how his mom’s acceptance and affirmation of him took time to develop.

David’s story is similar to that of Neon Tree’s frontman Tyler Glenn, who shared the stage with his mom at the 2015 Affirmation International Conference to share his experience growing up at a Latter-day Saint, realizing he was gay, coming out, and the impact coming out on his relationship with his mom and the Church. Tyler has since also left the Church.

I know those in the Affirmation community understand that our stories evolve over time and that there’s no linear trajectory our lives take or “one way” to be an LGBTQ+ current or former Latter-day Saint. Personally, I’ve been so proud of David as he’s come to accept and affirm himself, share his experiences and struggles publicly, and express his journey through his music. I have no doubt that many of us will see ourselves and our lived experiences in that music and that it will aid many in seeking understanding, healing, and authenticity.

Featured Photo Credit: “David Archuleta in Sandy” by Ben P L is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0


  1. John on March 31, 2024 at 2:08 PM

    It’s good to know that David is brave enough to affirm and came out about his current situation. He dealt strong in all aspects of his existence. I commend you for that David,,,, I look after you since u were on the famous talent show in the US. I hope I can see u again in person for the 2nd time. Love lots,, take care always.

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