David Archuleta has had enough of fans’ snide comments about how he looks, what he wears — and who he loves. The 31-year-old has been in the public eye since he was a teenager, when millions fell in love with his sweet demeanor and vocal talent during Season 7 of “American Idol.” The runner-up to David Cook released his first album months later, which premiered at No. 2 on the Billboard charts, just behind Taylor Swift’s Grammy-winning “Fearless.”
Fourteen years later, Archuleta’s music career is flourishing again — but being in the public eye has grown tougher. Since revealing in 2021 that he “came out in 2014 as gay” to his family but now defines himself as “a spectrum of bisexual” and asexual, he’s been embraced by most fans but viciously targeted by a loud, opinionated minority.
According to Variety, coming out in 2021 instantly made Archuleta one of the most high-profile members of the Mormon faith to be openly LGBTQ+, which doesn’t align with the church’s prohibition against acting on same-sex attraction.
On Jan. 15, 2022, Archuleta posted a lengthy Instagram video in which he described the struggle of trying to align his long-held religious beliefs with his sexual orientation, hoping he could learn to ignore his attraction to men and someday have a wife and kids, as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) expects of its male members. But trying that path and ignoring his true identity led Archuleta to the brink of suicide.
“You start thinking, ‘Ending my life doesn’t seem so bad. That way, I don’t have to lie,’” he said.
For years, Archuleta revealed, the thought that he was disappointing God was excruciating. But the singer eventually came to believe that God created him and loves him just as he is, and he has publicly encouraged LDS to reconsider its stance on same-sex relationships. So when fans or fellow Mormons express their “disappointment” in Archuleta, it’s particularly hurtful — and now he’s saying enough is enough.
Archuleta Questions Fans’ Comments About His Appearance
Archuleta, who stars in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at the Tuacahn Ampitheatre in Utah through Sept 3., has noticed an uptick in nitpicky complaints from fans over the past year. On July 31, he decided to “vent” about the situation in a lengthy Instagram post, clapping back at so-called fans over their unwelcome feedback.
In the post, Archuleta shared comments that people wrote in response to his July 29 Instagram Live, during which the singer’s lips were slightly more red than usual. The 31-year-old singer had explained in the caption, “My lips are red because I put a lot of chili flakes on my dinner lol”
In a screenshot Archuleta shared, a person whose name has been redacted wrote, “Do Chile flakes do that? I’m disappointed.”
Archuleta fired back, “Disappointed for what reason? That my lips react after eating spicy food and there’s nothing I can do about it? What would lipstick do to disappoint you anyway? It’s not my thing personally but someone wearing it shouldn’t ‘disappoint’ anyone.”
Another person commented, “Lipstick does not suit you,” to which Archuleta replied that he wasn’t wearing any.
Over the screenshot of these exchanges, the singer typed the words “Why are people getting triggered that I have red lips??” He then went on to explain his best guess at the reason behind the comments actually has nothing to do with his appearance.
Archuleta’s Tired of Hearing Certain Fans Are ‘Disappointed’ in Him
In additional images shared as part of his July 31 post, Archuleta wrote his in-depth reflections about comments he frequently receives about seemingly mundane things, like his lips looking slightly different.
“I find it interesting that people look for reasons to be upset or ‘disappointed’ (a word that’s been used at me more frequently lately) at me for things like this,” he wrote. Similar comments were written, he said, in another recent post of him wearing the “coat of many colors” from his ‘Joseph’ costume, he said.
“I had several people use the ‘disappointed’ word. And even more things were said,” he wrote.
Archuleta went on to say he believes people who tell him that they’re “disappointed” in aspects of his appearance, like red lips or his rainbow coat, are actually upset by or uncomfortable with his sexual orientation.
He wrote, “My coat is my costume. My lips were red from eating spicy food. These things may not be lgbt related, but yes I am queer. The difference from before a year ago and now is this is just a known public part of my life now. And I still live my life as I’ve always known how to. But I feel sad when people look for reasons to not like me because of that. I don’t think anyone should be disliked for being gay. I hope that I still show that I am me as I always have been!”
Archuleta went on to say he thinks people assume he’s different now that he’s living as an openly gay man — and worries that means they think he is somehow “bad.”
“I hope you know lgbt+ people aren’t bad,” he wrote, adding that there are many people still hiding their sexual orientation, worried about others’ prejudices and judgement.
He continued, “The reason I feel it’s important to talk about it is that a lot of people are afraid of being gay, or of gay people! Which makes people like me who are gay or lgbt who grew up around that language afraid to even exist! I was so fearful to just be! To live!”
Thousands of people have commented on Archuleta’s post, including some famous friends. Actress and author Jennette McCurdy wrote, “i’m disappointed in anyone who has confused their prejudice with disappointment in you. i am proud to have you as a friend and continue to be inspired by all that you are”
Fellow “Idol” alum Melinda Doolittle wrote, “Love you so much and am so proud of you.”
And singer Ashley Jayy simply wrote, “I love you David!!” with a red heart emoji.