Sean Mendes graces Rolling Stone mag's December 2018 cover, perfect hair, smoldering stare and all. Beyond that pop star perfection, however, there seems to be a young man truly figuring out who he is in a very public way.

Gay rumors and jokes have been associated with Mendes for years now, primarily on social media, and the singer-songwriter is well aware of it. "This massive, massive thing for the last five years about me being gay," Mendes says to the magazine, bringing up the topic head-on.

"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... Even though in my heart I know that it's not a bad thing. There’s still a piece of me that thinks that. And I hate that side of me."

That's just a taste of why Rolling Stone titled this Mendes cover story "Confessions of a Neurotic Teen Idol."

When ex Hailey Baldwin (now Bieber) comes up, Mendes admits the two were "more than friends" but not exactly a serious relationship. "I don't even wanna put a title on it. I think it was more of a zone of limbo."

How did Mendes, who had just recently gone to the Met Gala with Baldwin, react to the news she was engaged to Justin Bieber? “I texted Hailey, 'Congratulations,' and I really am happy for them. She's still one of the f-cking coolest people ever – she's not just a beautiful person visually, but she’s one of the most beautiful hearts I've ever met.”

It's a good time to remind ourselves that while Mendes has been releasing No. 1 albums and selling out stadiums around the world for a few years, he is just 20 years old. He was a teenage when first blowing up. Most teens and 20-somethings don't grow up, deal with insecurities, and figure out who they are in front of millions of people on a daily basis.

Earlier this month, Mendes revealed how Taylor Swift helped him face anxiety and get past stage fright as a teenager playing on her 1989 tour.

However fans and the public will take this new interview, we're happy Shawn is opening up more in this RS cover story. He's graciously letting fans and critics see more of the human side of who he is, even if he's still figuring out who that is.

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