Way before "Is that your final answer?" and "Who will be voted off the island?" the query on everyone's lips has been "Is Whitney Houston gay?" Years later the rumors still persist, even after she married bad boy Bobby Brown and became a mother. Well, Girlfriend wants to set the record straight ? as it were ? once and for all.

"Listen, I took a lot of grief for sh-- that wasn't me, OK, 'cause I had friends, 'cause I was close to people," she tells Out magazine. "But that ain't me. I know what I am. I'm a woman. I'm heterosexual. Period. My mother (singer Cissy Houston) raised me to never, ever be ashamed of what I am. But I'm not a lesbian, darling."

So, how did it all start?

Houston believes that in the early years of her career, she became something of an overnight phenomenon. The higher her star rose, however, the lower her private life became. As a result, the only dish media mavens could come up with was that she was gay.

"Mmmm," she pauses. "I suppose [the rumor] comes from knowing people? who are. I have friends who are in the community. And I'm sure in my days of bein' out, hanging with my friends, having nothing but females around me, something's gotta be wrong with that. If I was gay, I would be proud to tell you. I'm a mother, thank you. That's what I am, not lesbian, not gay, not all that bull----. I don't wanna hear that. It's over. It's done." Snap!