Shawn Mendes didn’t hold back in a recent interview over how hard it has been to deal with the constant speculation about his sexuality through his rise to fame.
The Wonder singer opened up to Dax Shepard on the Monday episode of his Armchair Expert podcast about how the scrutiny over him possibly being gay has deeply impacted his mental health since he was a teen.
“It was so, so frustrating for me because there were some people in my life that I was very very close to, who were gay and in the closet. And I felt like this real anger for those people. It’s such a tricky thing. You want to say, ‘I’m not gay but it’d be fine if I was gay—but also there’s nothing wrong with being gay but I’m not.’ You don’t really know how to respond to the situation.”
The 22-year-old Canadian addressed how he’s dealt with these rumors for years now, telling Shepard:
“I’ve realized that we just have to stop having to be experts and politicians about it, especially as a famous musician who’s a guy. I need to be really f**king messy and say the wrong things and apologize and say the right thing after I apologize and be confused about how to respond when people say I’m gay. Everyone’s been calling me gay since I was 15 years old. I’m not gay and I’m like, ‘What does that mean?’ I had these problems with the way my voice sounded. I’m like, ‘How do I sit?’ I’m always first to cross my legs and sit with a position of this feminine style and I really suffered with that s**t.”
Mendes was also quick to point out that while he suffered from speculation, he recognized that members of the LGBTQ community have had it “even worse.”
“I think a lot of guys go through that and even worse than that. There are just so many guys who are gay and in the closet and must be hearing s**t like that and just being like, ‘I’m terrified to come out.’”
The performer, who has been dating Camila Cabello since July 2019, credited his girlfriend for allowing him embrace his vulnerability:
“I’m in a relationship where my girlfriend is like, ‘We’re going to get in bed and you’re going to put your head on my chest, and you’re going to cry into my chest. You’re going to tell me how you feel because if you don’t do that you’re just going to be an asshole for the next week and I’m not going to deal with that s**t.’ I’m just lucky to be in a relationship that’s for it.”
Shawn even encouraged men not to hold back on their emotions:
“I think people are really quick to just say, ‘Well, he’s an artist so he gets a pass to be vulnerable and a pass to cry but most men shouldn’t.’ Guys need to just be vulnerable. We need to cry. Stop thinking this is being brave and strong and start thinking is the opposite, actually. We’re holding in these emotions and not crying and being assholes. Nothing about that is nice.”
As fans of his know, the Stitches artist has publicly come forward about all the questioning over his sexuality on multiple occasions. In a 2018 Rolling Stone sit-down, the crooner confessed to constantly feeling like he had to “prove” his straightness:
“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.”
He continued at the time, recalling how insensitive it all came off:
“I thought, ‘You f**king 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. Do you like the songs? Do you like me? Who cares if I’m gay?”
Clearly his views haven’t changed! And we’re still absolutely loving the pop star’s raw and honest conversation about it all.
Thoughts, Perezcious readers??
[Image via Adriana M. Barraza/WENN]