Are fans asking too much of celebrities? Certainly one did when she asked Shawn to help her come out to her parents.
During a fan meet and great in Oakland, California on July 14, Shawn answered questions from the crowd of supporters. Its then that one fan told the singer that’s she’s bisexual and wants him to help her come out to her parents.
“I’m bisexual and I haven’t told anybody, but my parents are very strict and I don’t know how to tell them so I was wondering if you could do a little video,” says the fan in the video below.
Mendes then responds that the responsibility of coming out isn’t his and that her words will speak louder than his.
“This is what I want to tell you. Your parents are your parents. They’re going to love you no matter what you say, no matter how you say it, no matter how you look when you say it, at any time of the day. Nothing I say is going to mean anything that is even close to what you saying it means to them. Okay? You’re their world. I cannot possibly come close to the amount of joy and happiness that they’re going to feel when they find out that you’re telling them your truth and you’re honest. Don’t ask me to do that. I would if I thought that it was a better thing to do, but I know in my heart that it’s not. I know your parents are going to love you even more for being honest with them.”
This interaction has caused a rift and heated conversations among Mendes’ fans and people on the internet. But I have to wonder, why do some think Shawn Mendes was in the wrong?
At the end of the day, the fan was asking Mendes to get involved with her own personal business. The situation would be different if she asked for him to give words of confidence, advice, or support to come out, but she asked him to come out in her stead through a video. How is a celebrity going, “Hey, your kid’s bi” better than the daughter doing it herself? Does the status of the messenger enhance the message?
There’s also the added factor of the impersonal delivery of a coming-out video instead of a one-on-one conversation. That said, the fact that her parents are “very strict” does add some explanation for the decision to do it away from them.
That also goes into the fact that Mendes assumes that the woman’s parents will accept her. There are thousands of LGBTQ youth who get rejected by their parents after coming out. In fact, the majority of homeless youths are LGBTQ because of this reason. But again, should the burden be placed on Mendes, a complete stranger, to help smooth over the conversation?
What do you think? Do you think Mendes was in the right to reject the idea? Do you think there could have been a compromise? Let us know in the comments below.