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Robyn Crawford breaks silence about relationship with Whitney Houston in new memoir

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Houston and Crawford in a still from the 2018 documentary “Whitney” (Image courtesy Lafayette Films/Passion Pictures)

After years of choosing not to comment on speculation surrounding her relationship with singer Whitney Houston, the late singer’s best friend Robyn Crawford is speaking out about it for the first time in her upcoming book, “A Song for You: My Life With Whitney Houston.”

In an excerpt from the book published today by People magazine, Crawford alleges that she and Houston were lovers, something that has been rumored since before the singer’s death in 2012 at the age of 48.

The pair met as teenagers at a summer camp in 1980, and – according to Crawford – went on to begin a physical relationship, which was then cut short when Houston signed a record deal with Clive Davis at Arista.

“She said we shouldn’t be physical anymore because it would make our journey even more difficult,” Crawford writes in the book. “She said if people find out about us, they would use this against us and back in the ’80s that’s how it felt.”

Nevertheless, the two of them remained friends, with Crawford explaining, “I kept it safe. I found comfort in my silence.”

Crawford also alleges that Houston’s mother Cissy voiced disapproval of a same-sex relationship between the two.

“Whitney told me her mother said it wasn’t natural for two women to be that close, but we were that close,” she writes.

Following her daughter’s death, Cissy Houston told Oprah Winfrey that she would have “absolutely had a problem” with her daughter being gay.

The singer went on to marry R&B artist Bobby Brown, with whom she had daughter Bobbi Kristina in 1993. The couple divorced in 2007.

Brown told US Weekly in in 2016, that Houston was bisexual, and added,“I really feel that if Robyn was accepted into Whitney’s life [by others], Whitney would still be alive today.”

When director Kevin MacDonald was developing his 2018 documentary about the singer, there were initial discussions with Crawford about participation in the production, but she eventually declined.

However, the filmmaker has talked about how Houston’s family generally characterized the two women as lovers.

“I think it’s fairly obvious when you talk to the family and friends,” Macdonald said. “Nobody is denying that Whitney and Robyn had a physical relationship – a sexual relationship,”

“They were partners for a number of years. My understanding is that relationship was over in a romantic sense by the mid-’80s when Whitney became a big star.”

As for why she decided to come forward so many years after Whitney’s tragic death, Crawford writes, “I’d come to the point where I felt the need to stand up for our friendship. And I felt an urgency to stand up and share the woman behind the incredible talent.”

The book drops on November 12.

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Television

AIDS @40- “It’s a Sin”: Drama at the beginning of the AIDS crisis

The show, which features a largely LGBTQ cast, shines a light on a dark chapter that’s been fading from memory.

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Graphic via CBS News Sunday Morning

LONDON – CBS Sunday Morning reports on the acclaimed HBO Max series, “It’s a Sin.” Produced by the originator of the hit British series ‘Queer As Folks,’ “It’s a Sin” tells the story of a group of gay men and their friends who live and love in London in the early 1980s, at the beginning of the HIV/AIDS crisis.

The show, which features a largely LGBTQ cast, shines a light on a dark chapter that’s been fading from memory. CBS Correspondent Imtiaz Tyab talks with the show’s producer-writer, Russell T. Davies, and with two of its stars: Neil Patrick Harris and Lydia West.

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Online Culture

Digital platform joins with It Gets Better for Pride-themed content

The online world can be a scary place, and it can still be difficult to “find your people” there without a little help

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Graphic provided by StreamElements

LOS ANGELES – The age of online communication has made it easier for LGBTQ+ people to connect with their community than ever before. This is especially valuable for young people, who don’t feel safe being out in their real-life environment, or who are isolated, whether by geography or prevailing social attitudes, from larger LGBTQ+ populations. Yet the online world, just like the real one, can be a scary place, and it can still be difficult to “find your people” there without a little help.

That’s why StreamElements, a platform which powers over 1.1 million digital content creators across Twitch, YouTube Live, and Facebook Gaming, is stepping up to provide assistance. The company is partnering with the It Gets Better Project for a new campaign that aims to help create safer and more inclusive LGBTQ spaces online, providing support for the community during Pride Month and beyond. 

As part of the campaign, StreamElements is:

  • Donating $25,000 to the It Gets Better Project and 100% of the proceeds from Prime-themed merchandise. It Gets Better, of course, is a nonprofit organization that leverages the power of media to reach and provide critical support and hope to LGBTQ+ young people around the world.
  • Collaborating with and commissioning graphics from LGBTQ+ artists Jaime Hayde and Andrea Marroquín, which will be used on special merchandise items for charity and shared with the broader streaming community for use in their individual merch stores.
  • Creating special overlays and alerts that feature the Pride-themed art for livestreamers to use on their channels. This “SuperTheme” can be used at various stages of a livestreamed broadcast and incorporates art from Hayde.
  • Spotlighting LGBTQ+ creators throughout the month via its social media channels, highlighting their work and including videos where they will share their journey and comment on what Pride means to them.

The initiative was spearheaded Sean Horvath, CRO of StreamElements and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, who says, “Pride has always been an important part of my life. Seeing StreamElements partner with LGBTQ+ content creators and the highly impactful Its Gets Better Project to drive social change is a significant milestone, especially for myself and many other members of our staff who are part of the community we’re celebrating. Our goal with this campaign is to not only shine a light on all the amazing things Pride represents, but to continue our previous commitment to supporting diversity by ensuring the efforts we put forward are prominent year-round.”

You can find out more at the StreamElements website.

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Sports

Out track star heads to Tokyo as video of her hugging her Gran goes viral

Her moment of victory and celebration with her Gran was caught on video and later shared thousands of times on Twitter

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Sha'Carri Richardson (Screenshot via NBC Sports on YouTube)

EUGENE, Or. – A 21-year-old out female sprinter is headed to the summer Olympic games in Tokyo after winning the 100-meter heat and securing a coveted spot as part of the U.S. women’s team in the Olympic trials that were held at the newly renovated Hayward Field at the University of Oregon in Eugene this past weekend.

Sha’Carri Richardson, a former Louisiana State University (LSU) sprinter put on an amazing run, afterwards telling NBC News Sports that her biological mother died just a week before the qualifying Olympic trials. Richardson, who celebrated her win by running up the Hayward Field stairs to hug her grandmother, says that family means everything.

“My family has kept me grounded,” Richardson said. “This year has been crazy for me. Going from just last week losing my biological mother passed away and still choosing to pursue my dream, still coming out here and still trying to make the family that I still have on this earth proud.”

Her moment of victory and celebration with her Gran was caught on video and later shared thousands of times on Twitter including by Deputy White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

The sprinter also took time to thank her girlfriend who she had said inspires her, and also picked out her hair color. “My girlfriend actually picked my [hair] color,” Richardson said. “She said it like spoke to her, the fact that it was just so loud and vibrant, and that’s who I am.”

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