Shawn Mendes’ sexual orientation has been repeatedly brought up throughout his years of success as a musician. He has had to express multiple times that he isn’t gay and that it shouldn’t really matter what his sexual orientation is. Throughout the years, he has tried to get the message across for fans to be more sensitive with their comments because it affects a lot more than just him.

The 2016 Snapchat Post

In 2016, Mendes posted a Snapchat video addressing the rumours about his sexuality. “First of all, I’m not gay,” he said. “Second of all, it shouldn’t make a difference if I was or wasn’t.”

He would later admit in 2018 that he felt the need to post the video in order to have fans be more sensitive with their comments. “I thought, ‘You f***ing guys are so lucky I’m not actually gay and terrified of coming out,’” he said. “That’s something that kills people. That’s how sensitive it is. Do you like the songs? Do you like me? Who cares if I’m gay?”

The 2018 Taylor Swift IG Story

In August 2018, Mendes gave Taylor Swift the green light to post an Instagram Story of him being applied a glittery eye shadow. He regretted it for a short while afterward, thinking to himself how it was a mistake to fuel the fire of the rumors about his sexuality.

However, he realized that he shouldn’t be afraid to show his feminine side, especially after growing up with 15 female cousins. “Maybe I am a little more feminine — but that’s the way it is,” says Mendes about the issue.

The 2018 Rolling Stone Article

In an interview for the Rolling Stone, Mendes opened up again about this issue: “This massive, massive thing for the last five years about me being gay.”

Mendes recalls all the times that he had to watch over the things he did and said in order to avoid having his sexuality questioned. His unconscious habit of re-checking himself made him “hate” himself because he knew that being gay is not a bad thing.

“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,” he says.

The 2019 The Guardian Interview

Earlier in April this year, Mendes revealed in an interview with the The Guardian how social media affects his life and how it’s important to watch what you say and show in the public sphere. He realized how much his posts meant to fans and how everyone looks into the things he says or does. “For the first time I realised how many people are listening,” he said. 

After being asked about how a lot of people question his sexuality, he openly displayed his disappointment about how insensitive people can be. He feels hurt, not for himself, but for everyone else who is affected by such prejudices.

“For me it’s hurtful,” he says. “I get mad when people assume things about me because I imagine the people who don’t have the support system I have and how that must affect them.”

Shawn Mendes Shawn Mendes performs onstage during the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images