British-based gay rights activist Peter Tatchell claimed that Whitney Houston attended an AIDS event in London, in 1991, with her gay partner Robyn Crawford.
Though he initially declined to identify her, the organizer – respected gay rights and equality consultant Vernal Scott – said that Peter Tatchell was referring to Robyn Crawford.
Peter Tatchell even said Whitney Houston’s marriage to Bobby Brown was a smokescreen.
Now, Peter Tatchell tells the story of how he met the two lovers, Whitney Houston and Robyn Crawford.
“I met Whitney and her female partner at the Reach Out & Touch HIV vigil in London in 1991.
Whitney spoke movingly in support of people with HIV, at a time when many other stars kept their distance. Her support was much valued.
She advocated the welfare and human rights of people with HIV. It was a commendable stand.
I have, in the past, declined to name Whitney’s female partner. But most of the media have since named her as Robyn Crawford.
When I met them, it was obvious they were madly in love. Their intimacy and affection was so sweet and romantic.
They held hands in the back of the car like teenage sweethearts. Clearly more than just friends, they were a gorgeous couple and so happy together. To see their love was infectious and uplifting.
Whitney was happiest and at the peak of her career when she was with Robyn. Sadly, she suffered family and church pressure to end her greatest love of all.
She was fearful of the effects that lesbian rumors might have on her family, reputation and career. Eventually she succumbed. The result? A surprise marriage to Bobby Brown.
The marriage was a disaster. Bad boy Bobby was never her true soul mate. Giving up Robyn – they’d been inseparable for years – must have been emotionally traumatic.
Whitney’s life started going downhill soon afterwards. Previously wholesome and clean-living, she went on drink-and-drug binges – evidence of a troubled personal life and much unhappiness.
It seems likely that the split with Robyn contributed to her substance abuse and decline.
There is a known correlation between denial of one’s sexuality and a propensity to self-destructive behavior. Homophobia undoubtedly added to the pressures on Whitney and hastened her demise.
Soon after her very sad death, I was quoted as saying that Whitney was happiest when she loved a woman. Some fans accused me of <<insulting>> and <<smearing>> her.
But there is nothing shameful about a woman loving a woman. It’s not dirty or sordid and shouldn’t be kept hidden.
I did not out her as lesbian/ bisexual. She semi-outed herself by dedicating her albums to Robyn.”
Years ago, Whitney Houston was outed by Bobby Brown’s sister, Tina, and by her former bodyguard, Kevin Ammons.
Bobby Brown hinted in his autobiography that Whitney Houston married him to dispel lesbian rumors: “I believe her agenda was to clean up her image . . . The media was accusing her of having a bisexual relationship with her assistant, Robin Crawford . . . that didn’t go too well with her image. In Whitney’s situation, the only solution was to get married . . . [to] kill all speculation.”
Peter Tatchell continued: “Telling the truth does not besmirch Whitney’s memory. It honors the most important relationship she ever had.
What’s wrong is ignoring or denying the one love that made her truly happy.
Homophobia contributed to Whitney’s fall.
I want to see a more tolerant society where people don’t feel the need to marry to deflect rumors of homosexuality, and where they are not driven to self-destruction because of their inability to accept and express their love for a person of the same sex.
Achieving this goal would be a fitting tribute to Whitney Houston.”