I'll go ahead and say what a number of people are thinking: Damn, she died. And, damn, she died before she came out.
Was she gay? I'm not the only lesbian who thought so.
Steve Rothaus (Miami Herald) notes a number of people who've written about it since her death. Including activist Peter Tatchell:
Whitney Houston RIP. She was happiest & at her peak with her female partner in the 1980s. They were so joyful together. I met them at the Reach Out & Touch HIV rally in London in 1991, organised by Vernal Scott. Whitney spoke very movingly; supporting people with HIV, when many other stars kept their distance. She was pressured into the Bobby Brown marriage. Disaster. Her life started going downhill soon afterwards. Whitney’s death is a tragic loss.
The Daily Beast notes Bobby Brown:
In Bobby Brown: The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But..., an authorized biography, Brown said that the marriage was “doomed from the very beginning. I think we got married for all the wrong reasons. Now, I realize Whitney had a different agenda than I did when we got married ... I believe her agenda was to clean up her image, while mine was to be loved and have children. The media was accusing her of having a bisexual relationship with her assistant, Robin [sic] Crawford. Since she was the American Sweetheart and all, that didn’t go too well with her image ... In Whitney’s situation, the only solution was to get married and have kids. That would kill all speculation, whether it was true or not.”
According to Kevin Ammons, author of the Whitney Houston unauthorized biography, “Good Girl, Bad Girl,” allegedly, Cissy Houston had a open disapproval of Houston’s former close friend Robyn Crawford. On more than one occasion, Cissy allegedly told Whitney, “get rid” of Robyn or she would destroy her career, saying it wasn’t “natural” for two women to be so close. Ammons also mentions, Robyn allegedly became upset when Bobby Brown (before their marriage) had sent Whitney four hundred roses. Ammons adds, Regina Brown, (Whitney’s former publicist) told him, at the 1991 Super Bowl where Houston sung the national anthem, a very public altercation allegedly happened between Whitney and Robyn. Brown alleges that M.C. Hammer appeared, he and Whitney went off by themselves, talking and laughing and Robyn allegedly flipped.
After Hammer left, Robyn went and grabbed Whitney’s arm and pulled her aside and started screaming at her. Allegedly, Robyn screamed, ‘Don’t ever disrespect me like that,’ Whitney allegedly jerked away and told her to go to hell and Robyn hauls off and slaps Whitney. Cissy Houston allegedly yelled, ‘don’t you ever put your hands on my daughter.’ Then wham! Cissy slugs Robyn in her right jaw with her fists and Robyn falls to the ground and Cissy kept punching and kicking her, yelling, ‘I’ll kill you, you stupid b**ch!If she was a lesbian, Robyn Crawford and others would be doing her a favor by coming forward. In the same way that Karen Carpenter was humanized by post-death revelations, Whitney would be as well. It would go a long way towards explaining why someone with everything could be so unhappy. People could relate to her.
Is she a lesbian? I don't know. I asked C.I. who said she knew Whitney in passing and not to have a heart-to-heart with. She said she had no idea but that it was accepted 'wisdom' in the industry that Whitney was. "But that doesn't mean she is -- was," C.I. added. "She didn't sleep with Clive and that surprised a lot of people because he was spending all this money on her debut album. Clive [Davis, head of Whitney's label Arista at the time] doesn't make a point to sleep with discoveries but this was a lot of money being spent on an unknown whose mother was a backup singer and there were rumors that they were sleeping together. Those rumors were false and when they were known to be false, new rumors started including that she was gay as if that would explain both why she and Clive didn't have a sexual relationship and why Arista spent millions on her debut album and her when no one had her of her. She may have been gay, I don't know. But for the industry, it was gossip that began when it was clear that Whitney and Clive weren't Diana Ross and Berry Gordy. "
I told C.I. that an actress who is rumored to have had an affair with Whitney was in the news saying otherwise today. C.I. said if I didn't print the name of the woman, "You can note that this same actress was vouching for her male co-star in the 80s -- a man most assume is gay -- and we now know that she's a lesbian. But in the 80s, she was pretending for the press, in the release of their film, that they were something of a couple. I'd question any claim that woman made."
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"