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Shawn Mendes addresses “this massive, massive thing for the last five years about me being gay”

Just got home from my little desert holiday and want to post a few items before bed.

This caught my eye: the new Rolling Stone cover story on Shawn Mendes. I’m posting an excerpt from the article that focuses on speculation about Shawn’s sexuality and how it impact him:

Mendes admits that the attention on his personal life has caused him a lot of stress. “I’d like to say I don’t care about it, but that’s not true,” he says. This brings him to another, much thornier issue that he’s been forced to navigate: “This massive, massive thing for the last five years about me being gay.”

Examples of what he means are all over YouTube and Twitter. There are memes that pair photos of Mendes with jokes about being closeted and videos that scrutinize his gestures. On some parts of the Internet, outing him has become a spectator sport. 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.”

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?”

So he recorded a frantic Snapchat story. “I noticed a lot of people were saying I gave them a ‘gay vibe,’ ” he told his millions of followers, sounding a little choked up as he stared wide-eyed at the camera. “First of all, I’m not gay. Second of all, it shouldn’t make a difference if I was or wasn’t.”

FILE UNDER: Music

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