American Idol alum David Archuleta is opening up after telling fans on social media that he’s part of the LGBTQ+ community.
In an exclusive interview that aired Wednesday on “Good Morning America,” Archuleta, 30, reflected on what it’s been like for him since sharing his news with the world and how it feels like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders.
“I think I was a lot more scared before,” Archuleta told ABC News' Steve Osunsami. “Because I always felt there was something that I had to keep to myself. There’s so much relief to not feel like you have to hide a part of yourself, like a secret.”
Earlier this month, the singer told fans on Instagram that he came out to his family seven years ago as gay, but had similar feelings for both genders.
“I’ve been open to myself and my close family for some years now that I’m not sure about my own sexuality,” Archuleta wrote on Instagram. “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.”
He then went on to explain that he also learned that he doesn’t have as many sexual desires and urges as most people.
“There are people experiencing the same feeling of being LGBTQIA+ … who are wrestling to follow their beliefs that are so important to them, just as I have,” he wrote.
Archuleta, who is a devout Mormon, rose to fame after competing on season 7 of “American Idol” in 2008. He came in a close second in the final round and went on to release eight albums and a number of hits including “Crush.”
Over the years, Archuleta has put his faith first and completed his missionary service in 2012 in South America. It was on that trip that he said was the first time he was honest with himself about his sexuality.
Archuleta said the road to accepting his sexuality wasn’t easy for him.
“I was praying like God, you can do all things. You are a God of miracles. And I know you’ve allowed the blind to see and he rose -- the dead to rise again. And i thought, you know, if I do everything I’m supposed to, maybe he can change me as well,” he said. “So I would say, ‘Please take these feelings away from me because I don’t want to. I don’t want to feel things I shouldn’t. I don’t want to feel things that would be wrong.”
“So that’s been the process I’ve had to learn how to love myself, even when I don’t understand why I’m the way I am but to learn that’s how God has created me,” he added. “And I have to discover that, and there’s so many millions of other people who’ve gone through the same thing as me where they’ve tried to change who they are.”
Since coming out, Archuleta said he’s shared his truth with a few leaders in the Mormon Church and hasn’t felt rejected. He hopes his story could help others and urged people to be more kind.
“For people who don’t really understand how feelings outside of just being heterosexual can be possible and okay I just plead that you be more understanding to people who experience and struggle with things that you may not experience and understand yourself,” Archuleta wrote in his Instagram post.
“If other people choose to live differently than what you’ve been raised to believe is right, please have compassion because it’s most likely been an exhausting journey for them to be okay with the feelings they have and never have been able to change,” he added.