“Now, I know 99 percent of you guys aren’t making assumptions like this, but this is just for the one percent of you that are. I just want you guys — 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’ or ‘Wait, it actually doesn’t even matter. They can do or be or feel however they want to feel,'" Mendes said in a series of June 2016 videos addressing the rumors about his sexuality. “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. That’s all I really have to say about that."
Two years later, he revealed that the speculation about his sexuality took a toll on his mental health. “I thought, ‘You f–king guys are so lucky I’m not actually gay and terrified of coming out,’” Mendes told Rolling Stone in June 2018. “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?”
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Though Mendes loves being able to perform and make music, he still misses being able to live life as a normal young adult. "I’ve never had more fun in my life," he confessed In Wonder. "But at the same time, I just want to hang with my parents and watch movies, drive around a suburb and lay on a soccer field and, you know, smoke a joint and stare at stars with my friends and, like, eat some beef jerky."
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On Being Anxious About His Voice
“I’m constantly warming up and I’m constantly checking my voice out of fear of the fact that one day I’m gonna go to sing and it’s gonna just not come out," Mendes said in the Netflix documentary while speaking about his anxiety about losing his voice.
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On Dealing With Anxiety
“Don’t be frustrated with yourself if you feel trapped or stressed,” he wrote in an op-ed for TIME magazine in April 2020 about the way the coronavirus pandemic affected his mental health, advising his fans to take “10 deep breaths in a moment of stress” and “try and call or FaceTime friends and family daily to stay connected." He continued: “This is a hard time for everyone and you deserve patience from yourself. My emotions have been all over the place … some days I’m O.K., and others it’s scary.”
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On Struggling to Be Himself
"Sometimes I ask myself what it is that I should be doing with my life and what I always hear in return is ‘to tell the truth, to be the truth,'” he wrote via Twitter in April 2022. I’m afraid that if people know and see the truth they might think less of me. They might become bored of me.”
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On the Highs and Lows of Fame
“The truth is even with so much success I still find it hard to feel like I’m not failing. [I’m] hyper focused on what I don’t have, forgetting to see all that I do," Mendes wrote at the time. “The truth is I’m overwhelmed and overstimulated lol.”
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On Postponing His Tour
"I’ve been touring since I was 15 and to be honest it’s always been difficult to be on the road away from friends and family,” he wrote in July 2022 while announcing plans to postpone his tour. “After a few years off the road, I felt like I was ready to dive back in, but that decision was premature and unfortunately the toll of the road and the pressure has caught up to me and Ive hit a breaking point. ... I need to take some time to heal and take care of myself and my mental health, first and foremost."
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On Canceling His Tour
"I started this tour excited to finally get back to playing live after a long break due to the pandemic, but the reality is I was not at all ready for how difficult touring would be after this time away,” the Canada native wrote via Instagram in July 2022 after canceling the remaining dates of his world tour, which he initially postponed earlier that month after experiencing a mental health "breaking point."
He continued; "After speaking more with my team and working with an incredible group of health professionals, it has become more clear that I need to take the time I've never taken personally, to ground myself and come back stronger."
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Taking Time for Himself
The "Lost in Japan" singer told TMZ in August 2022 that he's been engaging in self-care after canceling his tour. "I'm taking a lot of time, like, doing therapy," he explained. "Just taking it easy. Spending time with family that I haven't been able to. ... I think for me it's just about spending time doing things that I haven't really done over the last few years. Having dinners with friends and stuff.