In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Shawn Mendes addressed recurring rumors about his sexuality. The article gave us a deeper look in the pop idol's mind.
The feature described Mendes as constantly questioning himself because of internet jokes and speculation about the possibility he might be gay. The constant questioning has led to bouts of anxiety over the issue.
"I'd like to say I don't care about it, but that's not true… This massive, massive thing for the last five years about me being gay."
There are jokes and memes about Mendes all over the internet. People screenshot still frames from videos of Mendes or comment about how he acts and use that as proof that he is gay. Mendes has read many of these comments and adjusts his behavior to try and avoid these jokes in the future.
Fans have been very supportive.
Mendes went on:
"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."
Last December, after reading several comments declaring him gay, Mendes said he thought to himself:
"You fucking 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."
He recorded a Snapchat story to explain his feelings, but the denial seemed to make people discuss it more.
The feature paints Mendes as insecure and neurotic. He's spoken about it and commented that the article doesn't give the whole picture, including how much he loves his work and fans.
He didn't deny core aspects of the article, however, like how much effort and mental stress he has over people's refusal to believe him about his sexuality.
His fans have his back.
This isn't the first time the singer has been open about his mental health. On the podcast The Dan Wootton Interview, Mendes opened up about his struggles with anxiety and going to therapy for it.