Shawn Men­des Fires Back At Haters: “Think Be­fore You Judge!”

J-14 - - Front Page -

Shawn’s speak­ing up about a ru­mor that he just won’t stand for.

We’ve all been there: You’re mind­ing your busi­ness, just go­ing about your day when sud­denly some­one brings some­thing to your at­ten­tion that couldn’t be fur­ther from the truth. “Is it true you like my boyfriend?” “I heard you made shady com­ments about me on In­sta­gram.” It’s like peo­ple who spread ru­mors don’t even take a minute to think about how those lies, no mat­ter how big or small they may be, can im­pact some­one’s life.

That’s some­thing Shawn Men­des learned re­cently, when he made the mis­take of read­ing the com­ments sec­tion on YouTube. “I don’t usu­ally do this and bring up prob­lems,” Shawn said. “But I was on YouTube just watch­ing some of my in­ter­views and I was go­ing down the com­ments and no­ticed a lot of peo­ple were say­ing I give them a ‘gay vibe.’”

“The fo­cus shouldn’t be on my sex­u­al­ity”

You might think that Shawn would get angry that peo­ple are dis­cussing such ru­mors. Af­ter all, for him, it’s not just the kids in the hall­ways spread­ing gos­sip, it’s thou­sands of in­ter­net trolls flood­ing the com­ment sec­tion. How­ever, truth­fully, the fact that peo­ple think he’s gay isn’t even a real prob­lem for Shawn — and he would like to ex­plain why. “First of all, I’m not gay,” he says. “Sec­ond of all, it shouldn’t make a dif­fer­ence if I was or if I wasn’t. The fo­cus should be on the mu­sic, not my

sex­u­al­ity.”

On that note, it’s re­ally im­por­tant for Shawn that every­one knows he’s not at all of­fended that peo­ple think he’s gay, he’s ac­tu­ally just up­set that any­one would think it’s OK to use be­ing gay as an in­sult. And in speak­ing out about it, he hopes to help change that stigma.

“I’m not frus­trated be­cause peo­ple were say­ing I was gay at all,” he ex­plains. “I have no prob­lem with that ’cause it wouldn’t make a dif­fer­ence to me. 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.”

“I wish peo­ple would grow up!”

If you hap­pen to be a Shawn Men­des fan (and who isn’t?!), Shawn as­sures you that he doesn’t be­lieve you’re all writ­ing these sort of com­ments — it’s just a case of a few bad ap­ples spoil­ing the whole bunch. “I know 99 per­cent of you guys aren’t mak­ing as­sump­tions like this,” Shawn clar­i­fies. “This is just for the one per­cent of you that are. I just wish that one per­cent of peo­ple would grow up.” And if voic­ing his opin­ion can change the be­hav­ior of just one per­son with too much key­board con­fi­dence, Shawn will know he made a real dif­fer­ence.

“It’s im­por­tant to keep things pos­i­tive”

The re­al­ity is, get­ting caught in the mid­dle of drama is part of grow­ing up, and some­times, it can be hard to avoid. If you find your­self in a sit­u­a­tion like that, Shawn has some ad­vice. “Be­fore you judge some­one on the way they speak or act, I want you guys to think, ‘Hey, maybe I shouldn’t be judg­ing some­one,’” he of­fers. “Or ‘It ac­tu­ally shouldn’t even mat­ter. They can do or be, or feel, how they want to feel.’”

It’s pos­i­tive peo­ple like Shawn who do make a change, be­cause they’re not afraid to take a stand. “It’s ex­tremely im­por­tant just to keep things pos­i­tive as much as we can,” he shares. “It’s im­por­tant that singers use our voice to spread pos­i­tive mes­sages.”

Shawn’s grate­ful for fans like you for al­ways hav­ing his back. “Love you guys,” he smiles.

No more hold­ing back!

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