Shawn Mendes didn’t hold anything back in a candid new interview where he described how cruel rumors about his sexuality impacted his mental health.
Sitting down with Dax Shepard for the Monday episode of the Armchair Expert podcast, the “Monster” singer admitted he’s wrestled with rumors about his sexuality since he was a young teen.
“Everyone’s been calling me gay since I was 15 years old,” said Shawn, 22, who explained how the speculation not only made him start policing his actions and closed himself off emotionally, but it also made him worry about his gay friends who weren’t ready to come out.
“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,” the Grammy nominee explained. “I felt this real anger for those people.”
“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 [stuff[ like that and being like, ‘I’m terrified to come out,'” the “Wonder” singer added.
Moreover, Shawn feared that he’d accidentally say something offensive or dismissive when responding to rumors about his sexuality.
“You don’t really know how to respond to the situation,” he confessed, adding that he eventually realized that he could freely be himself and just ignore the rumors.
Mendes also says that men need to give themselves permission to express their emotions without worrying how it’ll look.
“Guys need to just be vulnerable. We need to cry. Stop thinking ‘this is being brave and strong’ and start thinking it’s the opposite, actually,” he stressed. “We’re holding in these emotions and not crying and being [jerks]… Nothing about that is nice.”
By Danielle Long
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