Shawn, Being Called Gay Isn’t Hurtful

Singer Shawn Mendes claims it’s hurtful that people think he might be gay.

Photo by Raph_PH CC BY 2.0 on Wikimedia

“For me it’s [gay rumors] hurtful. I get mad when people assume things about me.”

This isn’t the first time the singer has addressed rumors about his sexuality. Three years ago Mendes, 20, posted a Snapchat video where he denied the rumors surrounding his sexuality:

“First of all, I’m not gay. Second of all, it shouldn’t make a difference if I was or wasn’t.”

He later told Rolling Stone that the rumors had deeply upset him:

“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.”

On some levels it’s hard not to sympathize with Mendes. At twenty a person is still figuring life out. Most of us can look back at who we were at his age and think we’re looking at a completely different person. Also, most of us weren’t a world famous singer with millions of fans and a ton of media interest.

“I felt sick, I was like ‘F**k, why did I let her post that?’ I just fed the fire that I’m terrified of.”

This reaction suggests a young man who is very uncomfortable with aspects of his identity. Perhaps it is the response of someone trying to balance parts of his personality and mannerisms which cultural constructions of masculinity deem unmanly.

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