Shawn Mendes Clarifies His Sexual Identity In A New Interview

Photo: Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images.
In the same Rolling Stone interview in which Shawn Mendes confirmed that he and Hailey Baldwin had been a kinda-sorta couple earlier this year, the singer addressed another romantic rumour that's followed him around ever since his private life became much more public with the success of his career: “This massive, massive thing for the last five years about me being gay,” Mendes said.
"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 continued. "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."
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Mendes added that the extent to which the online rumour mill scrutinizes his every move has made him feel extremely self-conscious about his behaviour and body language during on-camera interviews. And this is hardly the first time Mendes has felt obligated to speak out against the internet's seeming fascination with his sexual identity. In 2016, he posted several videos to his Snapchat story in which he stated, "First of all, I’m not gay. Second of all, it shouldn’t make a difference if I was or if I wasn’t. The focus should be on the music not my sexuality."
Looking back on the past times that he's attempted to clear the air, Mendes told Rolling Stone that he didn't just do it for his personal benefit. "I thought, 'You fucking 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?"
Mendes, who has proven himself to be an LGBTQ+ ally in the past, shouldn't feel pressured to act a certain way — or always be seen with a woman at his side, for that matter — in order to feel comfortable in the public eye. And the rest of us should be content with listening to "Stitches" for the millionth time and taking Mendes at his word, rather than wildly speculating on what he does in his personal life.
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