Long standing human rights and gay activist Peter Tatchell, director of the Tatchell Foundation, responds to backlash from angry Whitney Houston fans over his claim that she was at her happiest with a lesbian partner in the 1980s. Houston, who died on Saturday, was to married R n B singer Bobby Brown from 1992 – 1997 and had always denied lesbian rumours.
Tatchell said “Whitney Houston had a huge gay and straight following. I was one of her millions of fans. I’m saddened by her death. The world has lost a great entertainer.”
“Judging from angry comments made by some of Whitney’s fans, they seem to think it is shameful for someone to be lesbian or bisexual. Otherwise, why would they object to me mentioning Whitney’s love for another woman? There is nothing bad about lesbian love. It is not a dirty, sordid love that should be kept hidden.”
Houston fans’ reactions to Tatchell’s statement have varied, with Tallulah from Hove commenting on the Daily Mail’s website “There is something deeply distasteful about Peter Tatchell ‘claiming’ Whitney Houston for homosexuality and only marrying Bobbie Brown for a smokescreen.”
Tatchell has responded to such comments by saying “I told the truth. Telling the truth does not besmirch Whitney’s memory. It honours the most important, loving relationship in her life – which many other people seem keen to ignore or deny.
“I met Whitney and her partner. I know the truth. It shocks me that people want to write out of her life the one relationship that made Whitney truly happy.
“I am not willing to collude with the cover up. Homophobia almost certainly contributed to Whitney’s demise and death. We need to acknowledge this reality, to spur society to reject such damaging prejudice. I don’t want to read about any more Whitney’s being pressured into marriages to deflect rumours about a lesbian relationship, or being driven to drink and drugs because of their inability to accept and express their love for a person of the same-sex.”