QUEER VOICES

Shawn Mendes: Seeing Teddy Geiger Live Openly Transgender Is Beautiful

The "Stitches" singer recounted the "powerful" experience of his pal's journey toward living authentically.

Since the early days of his career, Shawn Mendes has enjoyed a “really special” artistic connection with longtime collaborator Teddy Geiger

Geiger, who has also collaborated with One Direction and James Blunt, produced Mendes’ new, self-titled album, and co-wrote many of its 14 songs, including hit singles “In My Blood” and “Lost in Japan.” The singer-songwriter, 29, recently came out as transgender, and earlier this month made her first red carpet appearance since announcing her transition. 

Mendes has said Geiger first came out to him as trans when they were working on the 2015 single, “Stitches.” In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Canadian-born pop star elaborated further on the “powerful” experience of witnessing Geiger’s journey toward living authentically. 

“For her to feel so comfortable with me and the other songwriters the night she came out ... I can’t express how happy that made me,” Mendes said.

A post shared by Teddy Geiger (@teddygeiger) on

He went on to recall the first time he referred to Geiger by her preferred pronoun, “she.” 

“I didn’t realize I did it, but she looked at me and she had the most incredible look in her eyes,” Mendes told EW. “If every person in the world had one of their best friends look at them that way, and express that much joy in what it meant for her to be referred to as the pronoun she is, there would no longer be an argument [over trans rights]. People would just understand.”

He continued, “It’s so powerful to have somebody you’re so close to go through something like that. It’s just fucking beautiful, man. I really wish you could have seen it.”

Mendes previously spoke out in support of Geiger at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards earlier this month, and offered his advice for anyone still unsure of how to support the LGBTQ community. 

“Just open your eyes and open your mind,” he said. “Because, for me, going through one of my closest friends going through a very big transition period in her life, was incredible to watch.”

“Let somebody be and feel and live how they want to live,” he added. 

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