Star reveals painful secret toll of gay rumours
HOW many times will Shawn Mendes have to say he's not gay for people to believe him?
The 20-year-old Canadian singer emphasised his heterosexuality in Rolling Stone's December issue and discussed the constant stress he feels living his life in the spotlight.
"I'd like to say I don't care about it, but that's not true," he said, before adding, "This massive, massive thing for the last five years about me being gay."
Mendes's sexuality has been a topic of conversation ever since the In My Blood singer launched to stardom in 2014. Last Christmas, he finally reached the boiling point after reading comments on YouTube about his sexuality. He took to Snapchat to address the public.
"I noticed a lot of people were saying I gave them a 'gay vibe,'" he said. "First of all, I'm not gay. Second of all, it shouldn't make a difference if I was or wasn't."
But the rumours continued to circulate which has affected how Mendes conducts himself in public.
Earlier this year, for example, tourmate and friend Taylor Swift sent Mendes a picture of the two together to make sure he was okay with her posting it. The picture was of the two of them backstage at her Reputation tour and Swift applying glitter eyeshadow to Mendes's face. At first, Mendes was okay with her posting it, but later on, he got paranoid.
"I felt sick," he told the magazine. "I was like, 'F**k, why did I let her post that?' I just fed the fire that I'm terrified of."
Elsewhere, he added, "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."
Recently, he was linked to model Hailey Baldwin. Of their relationship, he said, "I don't even wanna put a title on it. I think it was more of a zone of limbo."
It didn't last, of course, as Baldwin got back together with Justin Bieber a month later. But Mendes was a good sport about it, texting the model to congratulate her on their engagement.
"I get it, you know," he said. "I texted Hailey, 'Congratulations,' and I really am happy for them. She's still one of the f - king coolest people ever - she's not just a beautiful person visually, but she's one of the most beautiful hearts I've ever met."
It appears Mendes wasn't fully comfortable with how the candid interview turned out. Shortly after it was published Monday, the musician took to Twitter to address the story.
"Of course I have my insecurities and struggles but that's just one part of me," he tweeted. "Sometimes the positive side of a story doesn't always get fully told and I wish it had here. I love what I do and I love you guys so much"
This story originally appeared on the New York Post and is republished here with permission.