Shawn Mendes Sets the Record Straight on His Sexuality, Once and for All
Shawn Mendes has come a long way since he was simply a scrawny Canadian teenagers uploading short covers onto Vine back in 2013. Now 20, the “Lost in Japan” crooner has three No. 1 albums and over 38 million followers on Instagram, but he’s definitely not used to being such a massive superstar. Shawn deals with severe anxiety, which he talked about in his song “In My Blood,” on the regular, much of which stems from his entire life being scrutinized by millions of strangers. One subject that’s particularly touchy for the cutie? His sexuality.
While Shawn has said he’s straight multiple times over the years, the question about whether or not he’s gay just will not leave him alone. In the December 2018 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, the singer reveals that the speculation does cause him a good amount of stress, not because there’s anything wrong with being gay, but because it’s hard to deal with the constant speculation.
“I’d like to say I don’t care about it, but that’s not true,” he admits. “This massive, massive thing for the last five years about me being gay…”
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Shawn Mendes appears on our latest cover. Click the link in our bio to read the story in full. In the feature, the singer talks to us about his dating life, the rumors about him being gay, being skeptical of his success and more. “I broke down in my hotel room,” he says. “I started crying, and I was just like, ‘This is why you talk about shit that actually is real.’ I was like, ‘God, don’t ever fucking question the feeling of writing the truth again.’” Photograph by @RuvenAfanador
He continues, “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. Even though in my heart 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.”
SM was famously linked to Hailey
Baldwin Bieber a couple months before she got engaged to Justin Bieber, but the pair repeatedly said they were just friends. Now, however, the crooner admits that they were more than that — “I don’t even wanna put a title on it. I think it was more of a zone of limbo,” he explains.
Shawn is aware of everything he does — from the way he crosses his legs to the way he speaks — because he knows those things will just add to the speculation about his sexuality. In fact, when BFF Taylor Swift posted a video of herself applying glittery eyeshadow on him backstage at one of the Reputation Stadium Tour stops, he panicked.
“I felt sick,” he says of waking up and thinking about the video, which he initially gave Tay approval to post. “I was like, ‘F*ck, why did I let her post that?’ I just fed the fire that I’m terrified of.”
Taylor Swift is out here giving us the Shawn Mendes content we need and deserve. ✨ pic.twitter.com/XcggJEaFJZ
— Alex Goldschmidt (@alexandergold) August 4, 2018
Members of the #MendesArmy will remember a time back in 2016 when Shawn randomly jumped on Snapchat to vehemently deny he’s gay. Turns out, the rant came after he spent a good chunk of time reading YouTube comments about his sexuality, prompting him to speak out.
He recalls, “I thought, ‘You f*cking 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?”
As much as Shawn stresses about the public’s opinion of him, or contemplating his biggest fear of waking up tomorrow “and nobody cares,” he knows it’s these moments that make him human and allow him to create music that resonates with his audience.
“I broke down in my hotel room,” he says of hearing people’s reactions to his “In My Blood,” the most raw tune he’s released to date. “I started crying, and I was just like, ‘This is why you talk about shit that actually is real.’ I was like, ‘God, don’t ever f*cking question the feeling of writing the truth again.’”
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — Shawn Mendes is a gift and must be protected at all costs.