He already addressed rumors about his sexuality. But Shawn Mendes finds himself explaining how it affects him all over again.
Back in 2017, Shawn posted an emotional Snapchat to address rumors about his sexuality: “First of all, I’m not gay. Second of all, it shouldn’t make a difference if I was or wasn’t.”
In a 2018 profile on Rolling Stone, he shared that he once felt the pressure to have to prove his sexual orientation to everyone else.
“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 said at the time. “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.”
And after reading YouTube comments about his sexuality, he also opened up how others’ assumptions about his sexuality doesn’t just affect him, but is also a sensitive to the LGBTQ community.
“I thought, ‘You f–king 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?”
“Maybe I am a little more feminine, but that’s the way it is,” he continued. “That’s why I am me.”
In a recent interview with The Guardian, the “In My Blood” singer again discussed why he gets riled up when other people assume things about him – it’s not about him, but about the people who are witnessing it and how it might affect them.
“For me it’s hurtful,” Shawn admitted in the interview. “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,” he continued. “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.”
He’s got 42 million followers on Instagram alone. The interview also touched on his social media presence and he talked about being authentic.
“The more open the world is getting, the more people are craving real,” he says. “I don’t think people want to see a made-up person. [In the past] there’s been a lot of dressing up, and I still think that stuff is amazing – like I’ll wear a sleeveless top – but at the end of it, when it comes down to you, I think it’s about being authentic.”
And he might be looking to shed a little of the Nice Guy image he has now that he’s entered his 20s.
“To be a nice person is the best thing in the world – but…I’m 20 and I just want to have fun,” he said. “What I don’t want to do is live the rest of my life thinking, ‘I wouldn’t do that because I’m known as Prince Charming.’ The second that someone corners you into a personality, you don’t want to be that person any more.”