Rumors have swirled for years online that Shawn Mendes is gay. Even though Mendes is dating one of the hottest singers in the music industry, former Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello, he still has to deal with people making assumptions about his sexuality. Now the singer is defending himself against these claims.
Shawn Mendes Strikes Back Against The Rumors
Since Mendes emerged on the music scene, people have made cracks about his sexuality. YouTube videos, tweets, and memes have all been used to further the theory that Mendes is actually gay. The rumors and innuendos drive Mendes crazy and in 2017, he finally addressed them in an emotional Snapchat video. “I noticed a lot of people were saying I gave them a ‘gay vibe,'” the 21-year-old singer said, choking back tears at times. “First of all, I’m not gay. Second of all, it shouldn’t make a difference if I was or wasn’t.” This video did little to halt the flow of the rumors, however.
In 2018, Mendes graced the cover of Rolling Stone. During the interview, the discussion turned to the ways Mendes’ private life became unbearably public. Mendes admitted that the rumors of him being gay have affected the way he tries to present himself in public. “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 told the publication. He’s developed a habit of scouring through the comment sections of his interviews on YouTube. If a commenter says the way Mendes crossed his legs at a certain point is a clue to the “Treat You Better” singer’s sexuality, he makes a note not to do that again.
Mendes Hates This About Himself
Despite the steps he takes to appear “straighter,” Mendes is aware that there’s some hypocrisy behind his actions. “Even though in my heart I know that it’s [being gay] not a bad thing. There’s still a piece of me that thinks that. And I hate that side of me.” Still, he doesn’t feel like he can just sit back and allow people to spread false rumors about him, especially because Mendes is aware that he’s not the only one hurt by them.
Mendes talked about the Snapchat video he’d posted and went into his reasoning behind posting it. He’d been scrolling through YouTube comments that discussed his sexuality. Abruptly, he’d had enough. “I thought, ‘You [expletive] guys are so lucky I’m not actually gay and terrified of coming out,'” he said. “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?”
These Rumors Hurt More Than Just Mendes
There’s so many people, Mendes said in an interview with the Guardian, “who don’t have the support system I have,” and he often thinks about how people’s attempts to “out” him may affect him. “That was why I was so angry,” Mendes explained. “…I don’t think people understand that when you come at me about something that’s stupid you hurt so many other people.” Mendes is absolutely right that people making these accusations aren’t thinking about the people who are actually hurt by their words, people who are afraid to come out because they believe they’ll be made into a joke or a meme as well. They may not be as well-known as Mendes, but these kinds of words cut them just as deeply as anyone else.
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