Shawn Mendes Says Rumors About His Sexuality Are 'Hurtful': 'People Assume Things About Me'
Shawn Mendes is once again addressing the rumors about his sexuality.
The singer, 20, opened up in a new interview with The Guardian published on Sunday, where he said it’s “hurtful” when people make assumptions about his sexuality, adding that the rumors can also hurt his LGBTQ fans.
“For me it’s hurtful,” he said. “I get mad when people assume things about me because I imagine the people who don’t have the support system I have and how that must affect them.”
“That was why I was so angry, and you can see I still get riled up,” Mendes added, “because I don’t think people understand that when you come at me about something that’s stupid you hurt so many other people. They might not be speaking, but they’re listening.”
In the interview, Mendes also discussed his November 2018 Rolling Stone cover story, in which he had previously addressed the rumors and said that he felt like he needed to be seen out with girls “to prove to people that I’m not gay.”
Also in the Rolling Stone profile, Mendes criticized himself for going into a tailspin one night after seeing so many young couples — including Dua Lipa and her boyfriend — together online.
“It made me seem so creepy,” he told The Guardian. “If anything, the article made me realize your career isn’t over if people think you’re not perfect.”
Mendes, who has never publicly dated anyone since his career took off, admitted in the 2018 Rolling Stone interview that it’s been difficult to navigate speculation about his sexuality.
“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 remarked.
The singer added that “even though in my heart I know that it’s not a bad thing,” there is “still a piece of me that thinks that. And I hate that side of me.”
In regard to looking at photos of other young couples online, he said, “I had this thought: ‘I have to get paparazzied with someone. Who am I gonna get? I’m not relevant,’ ” before adding that he quickly calmed down. “I was like, ‘Ugh, you f—ing idiot. Why did you think that?’ ”
Mendes, who also addressed his sexuality directly in a series of Snapchat videos recorded in 2016, went on to reveal to Rolling Stone that he made the decision to record the messages after reading a deluge of YouTube comments.
“I thought, ‘You f—ing guys are so lucky I’m not actually gay and terrified of coming out,’” he explained. “That’s something that kills people. That’s how sensitive it is. You like the songs? Do you like me? Who cares if I’m gay?”
Mendes denied being gay in the 2016 videos, adding that “it shouldn’t make a difference if I was or wasn’t.”
Reflecting on his upbringing, Mendes added to Rolling Stone that he grew up “braiding hair and painting nails” with his 15 female cousins. “Maybe I am a little more feminine — but that’s the way it is. That’s why I am me.”