Shawn Mendes isn't afraid to open up and be honest about his emotions.
In a candid interview with Dax Shepard, the "Stitches" singer didn't hold back when discussing the rumors he's heard about his sexuality. Speaking to the actor on his Armchair Expert podcast, Shawn explained why it's been "so frustrating" to address this topic.
"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 22-year-old star said in the Dec. 14 episode. "And I felt this real anger for those people."
The Canadian singer also pointed out how much of "a tricky thing" it is to comment on the rumors. As he noted, "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."
"Everyone's been calling me gay since I was 15 years old," Shawn explained. "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 s--t."
Shawn mentioned that while he's had to deal with this since he was a teenager, he understands people have gone through worse.
As he put it, "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 s--t like that and being like, 'I'm terrified to come out.'"
The star shared that his upbringing may have played a part in the way he's been perceived. "I didn't grow up wrestling," he expressed. "I grew up getting my hair braided on New Year's Eve. It just completely depends on the way you grew up in your life and your surroundings."
All in all, Shawn understands things are complicated and that any response he gives about the rumors won't be perfect.
"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," he shared. "I need to be really f--king 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."
While people have been concerned about his sexuality, Shawn said he's focused on himself. Luckily, the "Treat You Better" singer has gotten a little help from his girlfriend Camila Cabello, who he's been with since July 2019.
"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 s--t,'" he admitted. "I'm just lucky to be in a relationship that's for it."
For Shawn, he feels it's important for men to be vulnerable and to not be afraid to share their emotions.
"I think people are really quick to just say, 'Well, he's an artist so he gets a pass to be vulnerable and a pass to cry but most men shouldn't,'" he explained. "Guys need to just be vulnerable. 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," he added. "Nothing about that is nice."
Listen to Shawn's full interview here.