It’s hard to believe that it’s almost been a year since the world was shocked by the death of pop songstress Whitney Houston.
On February 11, 2012, the 48-year-old singer was found dead in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, one day before the Grammy Awards. The autopsy showed that she drowned in the bathtub and subsequent toxicology reports attribute that to heart disease due to chronic cocaine use. That is old news and heaven is now blessed with her angelic voice.
What disturbs me and prompted today’s blog is a revelation that Whitney’s mother, Cissy Houston, makes in her new book, “Remembering Whitney”, that was released yesterday.
In the book, she talks about Whitney singing in the church choir, becoming a superstar, her struggles with fame, her turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown, and the drug use that ended her life.
Anyone who was a fan of Whitney knew about all of that. What some people might not have known about were the gay rumors that dogged the pop star back in the late-1980s. There was always gossip that Whitney’s relationship with her personal assistant, Robyn Crawford, was more intimate than just working together.
In her book, Whitney’s mother writes, “I knew I didn’t want Robyn around my daughter, and I told [Whitney] that. There wasn’t much I could do though. [Whitney] liked Robyn. She was past the age when I could forbid her from seeing someone. Kids have a mind of their own when they get older. They want to experiment with all kinds of things. And I don’t know if it was more than that.”
Recently, Cissy sat down with Oprah Winfrey. Oprah read that excerpt and asked Cissy, “Would it have bothered you if your daughter, Whitney, was gay?” and she replied, “Absolutely.”
Cissy went on to say that she would not have liked it at all.
When I hear that, I try to be objective. Cissy Houston is 79-years-old and religion and gospel music play an integral role in her life.
However, it really disturbs me that a parent could not or would not accept their son or daughter for who they are.
I’m sure there are some people who know if Whitney and Robyn had more than a professional relationship. But, who’s to say what would have become of Whitney if she were a lesbian or bisexual. If she and Robyn had become an open couple, she might not have ever dated and married Bobby Brown and she may not have gone down the road of destruction with drugs. But, then again, she might have anyways. That’s all speculation.
I’ve always found it very disheartening, and even more so now that I’m a dad, that there are parents who do not accept and love their children unconditionally if they knew or suspected that he or she were LGBT. I’m not sure if religion is the reason that Cissy would have found it upsetting if her daughter was gay or if there were other reasons.
All I know is that my God, the one I pray to each night, loved Whitney for what she was, his child — straight, gay, or anything in between. And, he’s happy to have her with him now.