Shawn Mendes has finally directly addressed lingering rumors that he is gay — and he makes some good points …
Speaking with Rolling Stone for a cover story, the 20-year-old hitmaker speaks from the heart, acknowledging his own masculine weakness over gay rumors:
Mendes often finds himself watching his own interviews, analyzing his voice and his body language. He’ll see an anonymous stranger comment on the way he crossed his legs once and try not to do it again. He pulls out his phone to show me his Twitter account — his name is the only recent search. “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 says. “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.”
It's easy for us to say being gay is not a bad thing and so being rumored to be gay should be shrugged off, but he's been famous since he was 18, and I think it's admirable that he is admitting he believes gay is okay but struggles with being pegged as gay — when he's not.
His best point, one I contemplated after years of pointing out that Colton Haynes had been gay but went back into the closet — without knowing he has severe anxiety issues — is that outing can be a difficult thing for even actual gay people to handle at his age:
Last Christmas, he was reading YouTube comments about his sexuality when he decided he’d had enough. “I thought, ‘You fucking guys are so lucky I’m not actually gay and terrified of coming out,’ ” he recalls now. “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?”