Like so many others before him in the world of entertainment, pop star Shawn Mendes recently became the target of incessant gay rumors. As reported by the Inquistr, the 17-year-old “Stitches” singer took to the social media app Snapchat on Thursday to explain to fans that despite the ongoing whispers, he was totally, emphatically, completely and unabashedly 100 percent heterosexual.
“So, I don’t usually do this,” he began, “but I was on YouTube, just watching my interviews, and I was going down the comments, and I noticed that a lot of people saying that I give them a gay vibe. First of all, I’m not gay. Second of all, it shouldn’t make a difference if I was or if I wasn’t — the focus should be on my music, not my sexuality.”
He then went on about how wrong it was that people were choosing to speak on such an untrue and ridiculous matter by continuing to dive deeper into the untrue and ridiculous matter. Seriously.
“I’m not frustrated because people were saying that I was gay; I have no problem with that because it wouldn’t make a difference to me,” Mendes bemoaned. “I’m frustrated because, in this day and age, people have the audacity to write online that I’m gay as if it were a bad thing.”
Are you sure it doesn’t make a difference to you, Shawn?
Truthfully, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Mendes came off as being more than slightly perturbed by the gay rumors than he was willing to admit. Granted, at 17-years-old, it probably doesn’t take much for someone like him to reach a boiling point. Obviously, we’ve all lived through that “emotional teen” stage, but unlike the majority of us who were allowed to have our blowups far, far away from prying eyes and cameras, Shawn is doing so as a celebrity; one that has certain responsibilities that must be upheld for both the gay and straight fans who are following and emulating his every move and action.
Stranger still, rumors and talk about who he is and isn’t kissing behind closed doors have been running rampant for months now, especially when it came to the possibility of him being romantically involved with singer Camila Cabello of Fifth Harmony fame (spoiler alert: they have never, ever, ever been together. Like, ever).
In fact, up until the release of the twosome’s duet, “I Know What You Did Last Summer” in early 2016, the questions of “are they or aren’t they” adorned the cover of every single teen magazine you can think of, and some that you never even knew existed. Did Mendes get just as upset about those queries as he did this one? Well, not so much. In fact, not at all.
“She’s phenomenal,” Shawn fawned to Seventeen last month. “I love her and she’s so talented. She’s one of the sweetest girls I’ve ever met and super, super-smart.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where the biggest problem of all lies. Just as calmly and rationally as Mendes expressed that he and Cabello were just friends, he could have easily done the same here, but with an added twist: instead of speaking on such a non-problematic problem as being called gay, he should have remained silent. Not only would it have brought forth the same ideal of not being bothered by a so-called “judgmental” label, but it would’ve solidified it in a way that proves he’s better than the haters and completely supportive of everyone who buys his music, no matter who they choose to sing along and dance to it with.
Instead, not only does this add fuel to an unnecessary and troubling fire, but it also shows that his level of cool can be breached by those with negative intentions. If you thought being called gay was bad, Shawn Mendes, prepare to hear a whole lot worse as you make your way further and further down into the rabbit hole that is fame. We can only hope you’re better prepared to deal with such issues once you reach adulthood and your next level of success.
[Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Stringer/Getty Images]