'American Idol' Contestants Who Came Out After the Show

American Idol Season 7 runner-up David Archuleta has discussed the journey he went on with his sexuality in a recent social media post.

On Instagram in June (aka Pride Month), the singer and Mormon revealed that he discussed coming out as gay to his family in 2014, six years after being on Idol.

The post describes how Archuleta struggled to find a better description of his sexuality than simply "gay." He wrote: "I've been open to myself and my close family for some years now that I am not sure about my own sexuality. 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. Then I also have learned I don't have too much sexual desires and urges as most people which works I guess because I have a commitment to save myself until marriage."

Though many American Idol contestants have been members of the LGBTQIA+ community, most like Archuleta didn't come out until the end of the show – in fact, the show didn't have its first contestant who was out on the show until MK Nobilette in Season 13.

Here are the other LGBTQ+ alumni of the Fox-turned-ABC singing show.

American Idol contestants who came out after the show

Jim Verraros

American Idol had its first gay contestant way back in its first season with Jim Verraros, who made the top 10.

Out in his public life, he has since said that Fox made him delete an online journal post where he talked about his sexuality, with the network claiming he was not able to "self-promote" as a contestant.

He told The Advocate: "Looking back, [the network's policy] could be interpreted a bunch of different ways. One possibility is that they didn't want me to go public with my sexuality."

Coming out to his fellow contestants during the Idol tour, he came out publicly during a 2003 Advocate interview.

Clay Aiken

The highest any LGBTQ+ contestant has got in the show is runner-up. Clay Aiken was the first to achieve this in Season 2.

Shortly after his run on the show, Aiken told Rolling Stone: "One thing I've found of people in the public eye, either you're a womanizer or you've got to be gay. Since I'm neither one of those, people are completely concerned about me."

By 2008, however, he was ready to come out, and did so in People. He said: "It was the first decision I made as a father [to come out]. I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn't raised that way, and I'm not going to raise a child to do that."

Frenchie Davis

Season 2's most controversial contestant was perhaps Frenchie Davis, eliminated before the finals after Fox decided that previous topless photos she had taken didn't fit the family show image the show wanted. She told EuroWeb at the time: "They had decided that because American Idol was a family show, that they could not have me on the show because of the pictures I had taken – though they had never seen the pictures."

The singer came out nine years after Idol, and one year after reaching the grand final of The Voice Season 1. In 2012, she told the St. Louis Post Dispatch she was bisexual. "I wasn't out before the relationship [with a woman], but I wasn't in," she said. "I dated men and women, though lesbians weren't feeling the bisexual thing. Now I'm in love with a woman I think I can be with forever."

David Hernandez

Though in the next season Adam Lambert was able to weather rumors about his sexuality all the way to the grand final, Season 7's David Hernandez was not so lucky. An early favorite, Hernandez was eliminated from the top 12 shortly after stories emerged of the singer working at a strip club with a "mostly male" clientele called Dick's Cabaret (per its owner in an Entertainment Weekly article).

Though he made a career performing at Prides and released a song titled "I Am Who I Am," he was not publicly out for the first part of his career. He came out as gay in 2016. In promoting his single "Beautiful," he told Out: "If you're missing a leg, you're still beautiful. If you're overweight, you're still beautiful. If you are 75 years old, you're still beautiful. That's why I wanted to share my own story as a gay man."

Danny Noriega

danny noriega as adore delano
Danny Noriega (aka Adore Delano) has come out as non-binary since 'American Idol.' Getty

Though out in their private life since the age of 12, Noriega's sexuality was not mentioned on Season 7 of Idol, where they reached the top 16.

The singer later found fame as drag queen Adore Delano, first through YouTube and then on RuPaul's Drag Race, where they were the Season 6 runner-up.

In 2018, they came out as gender non-binary on Twitter, writing, "I am non-binary & completely valid. You are important & alive. Always know that."

Adam Lambert

adam lambert on stage
Adam Lambert is perhaps 'American Idol''s most successful LGBTQ+ contestant. Getty

During American Idol Season 8, many people speculated on the sexuality of Adam Lambert, especially after pictures of him kissing a man emerged online.

Speaking of these photos during the competition, he told Access Hollywood "I have nothing to hide. I am who I am. And this is about singing ... nothing else." Per ABC News, Fox "cut off press access to him and his family" after this comment was made.

Idol ended that May, with Adam Lambert its runner-up. A month later, he confirmed his sexuality to Rolling Stone. He said, "I don't think it should be a surprise for anyone to hear I'm gay. I've been living in Los Angeles for eight years as a gay man. I've been at clubs drunk making out with somebody in the corner."

Nathaniel Marshall

After making it to the top 36 of Season 8, Marshall first starred in MTV reality show The Gay Real World. He then went on to a career in gay porn under the name Jadyn Daniels.

He told The Sword magazine: "I have always been a very sexual human being. It wasn't until after the Idol experience that I really grew into the person I am today. I was only 19 and fresh out of high school on Idol, and from a small town. Since the show, I've moved around a lot and have had a lot of social growth. So. I did porn because I've always wanted to, and why not?"

Jaidah Christina Davila

Season 12 of American Idol saw a singer performing under the stage name JDA reached the group stages. Two years later, the singer, who wore make up and traditionally feminine jewelry on the show, revealed in a TV Page interview that she was transgender.

She said: "I am not just cross dressing anymore. I am not this gay, feminine boy. I am actually now on hormone replacement therapy. I have been for a year and a half."

Rayvon Owen

After finishing fourth in Season 14, Owen came out publicly in his first post-content single, "Can't Fight It." In the video for that song, he is seen kissing actor and LGBTQ+ activist Shane Bitney Crone.

Asked by Billboard why he was not out during the show, he said, "Here's a show that reaches so many people, including a lot of small town, conservative people, who grew up in the same environment I grew up in. I was afraid that if I shared this part of my life, would people vote for me? It's sad that I had to think that."

david archuleta on american idol
David Archuleta is the latest 'American Idol' contestant to come out as LGBTQIA+ Fox