Chart-topping pop star Shawn Mendes has opened up on the rumours surrounding his sexuality and described the speculation as “so frustrating”.
The Canadian, 22, is in a relationship with singer Camila Cabello but said he has been called gay since he was a teenager.
Mendes, whose hits include Stiches and Lost In Japan, appeared on actor Dax Shepard’s podcast and said the rumours were difficult to dismiss because he did not want to offend the LGBT community.
Iâm so blown away with @shawnmendes. I admire his fight/commitment to living an examined life at such a young age. Canât wait to lift weights with him :) https://t.co/1Vv8GwtVwj pic.twitter.com/kw8auRmtb3— dax shepard (@daxshepard) December 14, 2020
“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.”
Mendes, who first found fame after posting covers on short-form video sharing app Vine, said the speculation over his sexuality began at the start of his career.
“Everyone’s been calling me gay since I was 15 years old,” he said. “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.”
Mendes said he is aware other young men experience similar scrutiny of their sexuality.
He said: “I think a lot of guys go through that and, even worse than that, there are so many guys who are gay and in the closet and must be hearing shit like that and being like, ‘I’m terrified to come out.'”