Is it only the pictures of a young masculine girl, who very often was photographed clinging to or cradled by her mother?
Or is it the many anecdotes from credible people who remember knowing Whitney when she and Robin Crawford shared their lives together?
Was it the empty yet simmering response that Cissy offered for her rabid dislike of Robin, in spite of Robin's obvious love for Whitney in going to Cissy with concern about Whitney's cocaine habits?
What I do know is that it would have been impossible for Whitney to embrace a gay lifestyle as long as she was desperately dependent on her mother's approval.
Cissy admitted to Oprah that she ruled the family as a matriarch.
She further asserted that she made Whitney who she was, and therefore could never be jealous of Whitney's success overshadowing Cissy's own career.
Therein lies Cissy's troubling narcissism as a mother; the belief that she was the creator of who Whitney was. In other words, that there was no Whitney who independently existed apart from the Whitney Cissy created.
I believe that Whitney herself aligned with this command of having no separate self that her mother would find unworthy of love.
It is likely that this dependency and symbiosis with a mother who never loved who she really was is what drove Whitney to obliterate herself.
It is the story of a tender soul choosing to fuse with the viscerally rejecting mother.
Toxic hatred from a mother can be wordlessly delivered, but is nothing short of emotional assassination.
Some daughters survive by breaking away and launching a life apart from a mother who is sick with hate; others sacrifice their lives or self-destruct.
Those who break away ultimately are brave and tough enough to choose confronting the death of relationship with the mother rather than the inner death of the self.
This is a very difficult, uncommon path.
Although the story of homophobic mothers surely exists with non-celebrity daughters, Whitney Houston is not the only celebrity we have watched self-destruct from the terrorism of a mother's homophobia.
Living a public and private life that was a lie easily explains the drug-fueled, drunken rages at the end of her life.