The legacy of Whitney Houston is a complicated one. The late singer won six Grammys, 22 American Music Awards, an Emmy, and in 2020, she was finally inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But leading up to her accidental drowning, Whitney had battled addiction, suffered an allegedly traumatic marriage, and, according to some, was dealing with her repressed sexuality. And while her mom, Cissy Houston, was close with her, some think that she may have played a role in Whitney's ultimate demise.
In 2017, the documentary Whitney: Can I Be Me was released, and it made the claim that it wasn't addiction that killed the legend; it was homophobia and her mother's disapproval of her sexuality that tortured Whitney. In 2019, her former best friend Robyn Crawford published the memoir A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston, in which she opened up about their romantic relationship.
She said that she and Whitney stopped having sexual relations in 1983 because Whitney was scared her label and family would disapprove. “Whitney told me her mother said it wasn’t natural for two women to be that close. But we were that close," Robyn wrote.
In an interview with Oprah back in 2013, Cissy openly expressed that she would not approve of Whitney if Whitney came out as queer. It was heartbreaking to watch.
Where is Whitney Houston's mom now?
Cissy Houston, who is now 87 years old, is now more accepting of the LGBTQ+ community. She still loves her daughter as fiercely as ever — and misses her deeply. When speaking with Bishop Joseph Tolton, who identifies as queer, Cissy said, "God wants us to love one another,” after telling the Bishop that she'd tell parents who have queer children that it takes love and learning. Seemingly, Cissy has grown a lot since her unfortunate statements to Oprah in 2013.
The last we heard of Cissy was when she spoke up about her daughter's induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which was an incredibly emotional moment for her, since Whiteny was not able to experience such a triumph while she was alive. “I'm so very, very proud that Whitney’s being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She wanted to be something, not anything," Cissy said in a clip.
“What can I say now? If I talk too long, I’ll cry. I don’t want to cry. So thank you," Cissy added.
Whitney's sister-in-law also said, "This is something that Whitney always wanted. I remember in 2009 we were in London and Whitney looked at me, and she said, ‘This is really special, but there’s only one thing missing: I’ve got to get the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.’” Cissy jumped in, "Yeah, she did it.”
Ever since Disney+ announced they'll start streaming Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (the one with Brandy Norwood and Whitney Houston, aka the best one) on Feb. 12, there's been an uptick in searches around Whitney, so it makes sense as to why people are wondering what Whitney's mom is up to these days. Now you know!