Shawn Mendes Addresses Gay Rumours
"I know that it's not a bad thing. There's still a piece of me that thinks that. And I hate that side of me."
Shawn Mendes' rise to stardom has been constantly punctuated with enduring rumours of his sexuality. GIFs of the "In My Blood" singer are dissected for being femme, his interactions with his female friends -- glances at men -- are all put under a microscope.
And while the internet crawls over itself to prove that Mendes must be hiding something, that he must not be aware of his own queerness, the young singer is backed into the difficult corner of coming out every day as straight.
In an incredibly raw interview with Rolling Stone, Mendes spoke about his struggles with anxiety -- stemming from his A-list status for one, but also because of the ongoing focus on his sexuality.
"This massive, massive thing for the last five years about me being gay," Mendes told Rolling Stone.
"In the back of my heart, I feel like I need to go be seen with someone -- like a girl -- in public, to prove to people that I’m not gay," he said. When Mendes accompanied Justin Bieber's now wife Hailey Baldwin to the MET Gala they promised they were "just friends".
The internet ignited with jokes demanding Mendes must be queer.
One of the most difficult things Mendes says he has to grapple with is having no issue with his LGBTQ fans, except that often it's the LGBTQ community themselves that continue to push him to deny he's part of the queer community.
"Even though in my heart I know [being gay is] not a bad thing. There’s still a piece of me that thinks that. And I hate that side of me."
The 20-year-old searches his own name on Twitter and reads YouTube comments and in 2016 he addressed the rumours via Snapchat.
Thinking back to what drove him to post the series of videos on Snapchat Mendes told Rolling Stone, "I thought, ‘You f**king guys are so lucky I’m not actually gay and terrified of coming out'. That’s something that kills people. That’s how sensitive it is. Do you like the songs? Do you like me? Who cares if I’m gay?"
The full feature goes on to explain how Mendes lives his life over-thinking how he acts and reacts in interviews or when he's in the public eye, how he overthinks what's posted on social media and how overwhelming it all can be.
Check out the full story at Rolling Stone.
Featured image: Getty Images.