Model Hailey Baldwin and recording artist Shawn Mendes attend the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for New York Magazine)

In reference to the continued rumours Shawn Mendes is gay, the singer-songwriter has again defended his sexuality in a new interview with Rolling Stone. “I’d like to say I don’t care about it, but that’s not true,” he said. “This massive, massive thing for the last five years about me being gay.”

When the In My Blood singer shot to fame in 2014, online trolls wouldn’t give in. No matter how many times Mendes emphasised his heterosexuality, it was as though some people were trying to trip him up. One year ago, Mendes read some of the YouTube comments about himself publicly and addressed them. “I noticed a lot of people were saying I gave them a ‘gay vibe,’” he said. “First of all, I’m not gay. Second of all, it shouldn’t make a difference if I was or wasn’t.”

But the bullying didn’t stop. In the most recent interview Mendes recalls a time where Taylor Swift sent him a text message to ask if she could post a picture of her painting glitter eyeshadow on his face. At the time, without thinking, Mendes didn’t care. But soon after, he panicked. “I felt sick,” he said. “I was like, ‘F**k, why did I let her post that?’ I just fed the fire that I’m terrified of…  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 girl was Hailey Baldwin. Well, we shouldn’t reduce her to just that but she did help silence those bullies for a second. Mendes and Baldwin attended the 2017 Met Gala together. Of the relationship, he said, “I don’t even wanna put a title on it. I think it was more of a zone of limbo.” Of Baldwin’s engagement, Mendes admitted he texted her. “I texted Hailey, ‘Congratulations,’ and I really am happy for them. She’s still one of the f — king coolest people ever — she’s not just a beautiful person visually, but she’s one of the most beautiful hearts I’ve ever met.”