her when she was 16. It was at a summer job. …She had peachy colored skin and she didn't look like anyone I'd ever met in East Orange, New Jersey," Crawford in reminiscing about Houston told reporter Tom Junod in the February 2012 online issue of Esquire Magazine. “And we went around the world. I was her assistant and then her executive assistant and then her creative director. …I have never spoken about her until now. She was a loyal friend, and she knew I was never going to be disloyal to her. Now I can't believe that I'm never going to hug her or hear her laughter again.”
Houston exhibiting gender non-conforming behavior was no secret to those closest around her. The Daily Mail reported that Houston's sister-in-law, Tina Brown, and her ex-bodyguard, Kevin Ammons, both believed Houston my have been a lesbian because she "had wild sex sessions with women while out of her mind on crack cocaine."
But it was her ex-spouse, bad boy Bobby Brown, who over time have come to believe Whitney married him with an ulterior motive.
"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," Brown penned in his 2007 tell-all bookBobby Brown: The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But...
The freest she may have been expressing her sexuality without being drugged out of her mind might have been in 1999 at the 13th Annual New York City Lesbian and Gay Pride Dance. Houston that year flew in for a special surprise guest appearance where she performed her then two most recent hits, "It's Not right, But It's Okay," and "Heartbreak Hotel."
The homophobic constraints of career and family expectations no doubt contribute to the stressors in Whitney's "down low" life, but so, too, the church, even at her "home-going," (funeral) service.
With homophobes like Pastor Donnie McClurkin, the poster boy for African American "ex-gay" ministries, and gospel singers Angie and Debbie Winans, who released a single in 1998 titled "Not Natural," in which they self-righteously denounced lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) people, to name a few, singing Whitney farewell only a "down low" existence was possible for her.
We may never know all the demons that took this internationally renown pop star diva down a torturous and troubling road of self destruction, but one demon not mentioned is homophobia.