The American Idol winner said that while his mother had a "hard time" coming to terms with his sexuality, she eventually showed serious support by leaving the Mormon Church -- calling it "an awakening."
David Archuleta has his mom's full support after he came out as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community in 2021 -- so much so that she followed in his footsteps and stepped away from the Mormon Church as a sign of solidarity.
The American Idol winner opened up about his mother Lupe Marie Bartholomew's reaction to his sexuality journey, revealing that while she is supportive now, it was a process for her because -- as she put it -- the queer community "has been really not welcome in this church."
"My mom had a hard time accepting my journey. At first, she said, 'DA, I love you, but I love God more. And marriage is between a man and a woman.' And I'm like, 'Mom, I understand.' Because that's what I believed up until a month before coming out," David shared in an interview with People. "And I said, 'Mom, I don't need you to accept everything about my journey immediately. I just want you to be willing to walk along with me in this journey to learn alongside me.' And she said, 'Okay, I can do that.'"
In November 2022, David confirmed he had left the church following a "faith crisis." His mother made a similar decision around the same time.
"My mom said, 'I'm going to step away from the church.' And I was like, 'What?' And she just said, 'If you're going to hell, we're all going to hell together,'" said David, adding that she "just kind of said it in a funny way." He called the move "really sweet," revealing it moved him to see her say, "I'm with you wherever you go ... I don't want to leave my family just to follow God."
Lupe actually opened up about her decision last month in a lengthy Facebook post about her journey.
"I felt it was time for me to just be honest to my friends and some members of my family on why I chose to give up my membership from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," she began, saying it hasn't been an "easy journey" and was one filled with "tears of pain and disappointment."
She explained that last Fall, David stopped coming to service with her, telling her "it hurts too much to be there."
"For some reason I couldn't understand why he was saying that but then it hit me how the LGBTQ has been really not welcome in this church, 'We love you but you're not welcome to participate of all the blessings because of who you are'" she continued, adding that "some talks have been really hurtful towards them and I didn't get it then because I was so committed to stay and obey."
She wrote that she was "feeling so much pain to see my child suffer so much," before looking around during a service and saying to herself, "God is not here." She added: "How can a loving God be so exclusive? I did not teach my children their whole lives to serve and love a God who is not accepting of them. God is love!"
Shortly after, in late November, she told her bishop she was stepping away from the church, before giving up her membership completely this past March.
"Everything went down the hill for me very quickly and did not want to participate and support anymore these beliefs," she continued. Though she said she would "totally understand" if anyone in the church chose not to speak with her going forward, she concluded that she was on "a new journey now" and feels "it has been an awakening in my life."
Archuleta -- who was raised Mormon and grew up in Utah -- came out as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community in June 2021 in an Instagram post, noting that he was "maybe a spectrum of bisexual." The Season 7 "American Idol" contestant said he had previously come out "as gay" to his family in 2014.
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