There are now (and have always been) a lot of people mad at Bobby Brown. For many reasons. But most often, he is blamed for introducing Whitney Houston to a lifestyle filled with drugs and dispair. And many hold him responsible for her eventual descent into abuse and the decline of her career. And now there’s a theory that would have tidily swept all that away. If only Whitney Houston had been allowed to stay in her lesbian relationship with Robyn Crawford.
According to this theory, Whitney was happily rolling along at the top of the charts with her friend Robyn throughout most of the 1980s. But her mother, family and managers were worried that Whitney would throw away a thriving career if she came out as a lesbian at that time. Little did they know that she would end up doing just that, but the vice would be drugs and alcohol instead of a little harmless lesbianism.
According to gay activist Peter Tatchell, it was common knowledge that the pair carried on a lesbian relationship for years. But when forced to separate, Whitney fell into the arms of Bobby Brown. And soon after, a downward spiral into drug abuse.
The two women met in New Jersey when they were 16. They were soon inseparable and Robyn went on to become Whitney’s assistant for a number of years. Robyn has never admitted to a sexual relationship with the singer, and this week in Esquire she wrote that she likely never will:
“I have never spoken about her until now. And she knew I wouldn’t. She was a loyal friend, and she knew I was never going to be disloyal to her. I was never going to betray her.”
But that won’t stop the rumors. Robyn is not the only woman that Whitney has been linked to. Tatchell thinks bringing the relationship into the open will help prevent other homosexuals from entering into destructive marriages to hide their sexuality.
The Daily Mail ran this photo of Robyn (and Bobby) with Whitney. Robyn is on the right:
Regardless of whether or not Whitney actually had a lesbian relationship – with Robyn or someone else – it’s destructive to play games of could have/should have/would have when it comes to a person’s demise. Maybe Whitney Houston had lesbian relationships. But that doesn’t change the way her life ended. She divorced Bobby Brown in 2007. And she still didn’t come out as a lesbian. More importantly, there are infinite decisions that Whitney Houston could have made to turn her life around and get clean.
The whole world was rooting for her. But sometimes that’s not enough. Whitney was an outstanding talent. And unfortunately, she died a tragic figure. Because she let all of those talents go to waste. It’s futile to pin the blame for that on Bobby Brown. And just as futile to paint some woman as the knight in shining armor that could have saved her.
Because it seems like more than anything, it was the thing that made her known that was the same as the thing that killed her. Fame brings a lot of benefits. But also it is a never ending pressure that many people simply break underneath. As Robyn wrote in her obituary of Houston in Esquire:
“She gave so much to so many people; I hope that she felt loved in return. She was the action, for such a long time. She’s out of the action now. I hope she can finally rest.”