Shawn Mendes spoke candidly on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast about how people speculating he was gay when he was a teen deeply affected him and made him question himself.
“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,” Mendes said. “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.”
“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 fucking 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 shit.”
“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 shit like that and just being like, ‘I’m terrified to come out,'” he added.
Mendes is dating Camila Cabello, and he spoke to Shepard too about how his girlfriend has helped him embrace being vulnerable as a human trait and not a feminine one.
“Guys need to just be vulnerable,” he said. “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.”
“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 shit,'” he said later. “I’m just lucky to be in a relationship that’s for it.”
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