In a new interview with Rolling Stone, pop heartthrob Shawn Mendes reiterated once more that he is absolutely 100% straight, no gay stuff here — while long-rumored closet case Hugh Jackman also addressed the persistent speculation about his sexuality. The devil works hard, but their publicists work harder!
While talking about his relationship with Hailey Beiber, née Baldwin, who he attended the Met Gala with earlier this year, Mendes said that the endless speculation about his personal life has been hard to handle, particularly “this massive, massive thing for the last five years about me being gay.”
Mendes went on to imply that he attended the Met Gala with Baldwin as a way to further discredit speculation about his sexuality. “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 told Rolling Stone. Although in his heart Mendes knows being gay is “not a bad thing. There’s still a piece of me that thinks that. And I hate that side of me.”
At a certain point, the pop star decided enough was enough. “I thought, ‘You fucking guys are so lucky I’m not actually gay and terrified of coming out.’ 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?” This led him to uploading a Snapchat story in which he told viewers, that he wasn’t gay and that “it shouldn’t make a difference if I was or wasn’t.”
But Mendes says acknowledging the speculation about his sexuality only encouraged it, leaving him afraid of looking effeminate. Case in point: when Taylor Swift posted a photo from her Reputation tour of glittery eyeshadow she’d put on Mendes. “I felt sick,” he said. “I was like, ‘Fuck, why did I let her post that?’ I just fed the fire that I’m terrified of.” But now Mendes is more comfortable with himself, admitting that “maybe I am a little more feminine — but that’s the way it is. That’s why I am me.”
Hugh Jackman is another celebrity who has long been the subject of gay rumors, which he said in a new radio interview have never bothered him. “Some dudes do get upset, some dudes say, ‘Don’t say I’m gay,’ but I am good,” he said, according to Metro. He credits the obsession with his perceived queerness to his star turn in 2003 Broadway musical The Boy From Oz, during which he shared an intense kiss with a co-star that some thought went on for too long. “I was literally just locking lips. I started to laugh so hard. So I stay kissing him, because I thought, ‘I’m just going to laugh. I’m going to stay here until it subsides’ and it never subsided and the whole audience could see my body shaking, so they started.”
Mendes and Jackman aren’t the only celebrities who have dispelled gay rumors recently: Rocketman star Taron Egerton clarified that he wasn’t gay after posting a confusing — and possibly gay-baiting — photo of a man he called “my boy” on his Instagram. In 2018, maybe equality means that if gay people have to come out, straight people do too.