Last night, I learned so much watching the Oprah interview with Cissy Houston. Let me start out by saying, this is the first time in life I have ever walked away from an interview feeling like the interviewee was not prepped by a PR person and that their only agenda was to render to TRUTH. Cissy Houston dished some major truth, much of which many people were not ready for. At several points in the interview, you see that Oprah was kind of caught of guard and looked a tad bit uneasy. There were some things that Cissy Houston said that did not sit well with me, however, no two people are ever going to agree on everything. Even though some of her views did not settle well with my spirit, I could not do anything but smile in admiration for her courage and ability to be honest, despite the fact that much of her honesty countered what is popular these days.
For years, rumors spiraled around Whitney Houston in regards to her being a lesbian and partaking in lesbian love affair with her “best freind” Robin Crawford. When Oprah asked Cissy about Whitney being gay and her relationship with Robin, what Cissy had to say shocked a lot of people.
Cissy Houston wrote the following excerpt in her book:
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.
After reading this except, Oprah candidly asks Cissy Houston ” do you believe Whitney and Robin were in a gay relationship?” Cissy’s response was “i don’t really know. I didn’t particularly like her [Robin].” Though Cissy’s response is indeed fact, she didn’t “really” know, in my opinion Cissy dodged the question. Was I the only one who caught that? Oprah asked her what did she believe? The fact that Cissy could not definitively answer “no, I do not believe my daughter was in a gay relationship with Robin” leads me to believe that she did believe that her daughter was in a lesbian relationship with Robin Crawford .
“Would it have bothered you if your daughter, Whitney, was gay?”
“Absolutely,” Cissy said.
“You would not have liked that?”
“Not at all,” she responds.
“You wouldn’t have condoned it?”
Immediately following this dialogue, my mind started racing. I began thinking to myself, Whitney Houston’s issues were rooted far deeper than what many of us may have thought and surely started way before Bobby Brown. Throughout the interview, Cissy Houston made it know that she didn’t really care for Robin Crawford. She cited that Robin talked too much and at times was disrespectful. She said that Robin spoke and acted as if she had something over Whitney. DING DING DING DING.
Here’s what I speculate really happen:
Looking back at pictures of Whitney & Robin from early years, Robin Crawford does have a butch demeanor. In the society that we live in, it is reasonable for many people to assume that women with a butch/masculine presence are lesbian. In other words, Robin was “clockable”. When she walked down the street, the average human being would probably have assumed she was a lesbian, Cissy Houston included. THIS is the the real reason that she did not like Robin. It is hard for me to believe that Whitney’s best friend would be blatantly disrespectful to her mother [Cissy]. We’ve seen this happen time and time again in history. I feel like Cissy could not process the thoughts of her daughter actually being gay, so internally she blamed Robin. I can guarantee you that Cissy walked around feeling like “i don’t want my daughter hanging around that lesbian girl. I don’t want that lesbian girl exposing my baby to that lifestyle, etc”. Oddly enough, I think that this along Whitney’s need to please her mother and those around her is what started the destructive downward spiral which ultimately led to her death. One truth that I was not expecting to come out of this interview was that Cissy Houston was just as much responsible for Whitney’s death as was the drugs.
Not making any excuses for Cissy Houston and her beliefs on homosexuality, but i get it. At the time in which Cissy Houston was brought up, she was taught that homosexuality was not acceptable. Her teachings were corroborated with scriptures and teachings from the god she serves. Some may call it ignorance, others may call it her personal beliefs. Indisputably, Cissy Houston is not accepting of homosexuality and Whitney Houston knew this. The only question that is left to be answered is would Cissy have preferred a daughter that was living, healthy and gay or the one that went to her grave troubled, ridden with pain and addicted to drugs?
Video excerpt of Oprah & Cissy Houston talking on homosexuality: