There have always been rumors surrounding singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes and his sexuality. In fact, last year he cleared the air beautifully with a Snapchat video where he said:
"Now I’m not frustrated because people were saying that I was gay at all. I have no problem with that because 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."
This, I think, is one of the most beautiful and poignant ways to respond to rumors about your sexuality, especially if you identify as straight.
Well two nights ago, a fake Shawn Mendes Twitter account tweeted this gem:
Fans were quick to realize that this, in fact, wasn’t coming from his real account.
i have his notifications on if that was a real tweet i would've seen it. stop assuming his sexuality. just let him be shawn. #ShawnComingOut
— spooky nicole (@safetypinshane) August 30, 2017
There are a number of issues with what this fake account did. First of all, don’t spread lies about someone, including someone’s sexuality. That’s totally uncalled for. But second, and even more importantly, the "joke" (if you could even call it that) reveals how many people still think that coming out is a trivial matter. It is not. It is a big deal when you come out, and it still is, even in 2017.
The idea that it’s "funny" to joke and lie about coming out shows how ignorant people are to the struggles that LGBTQ folks face. We are still very much discriminated against, and there are plenty of studies that reveal that being closeted is related to negative mental health outcomes.
Luckily, it seems like Twitter was quick to reprimand the fake account.
— m (@radiantana) August 30, 2017
Shawn Mendes, you do you, and thank you for eloquently dealing with all this BS!