I downloaded a few Whitney Houston songs today to add to my collection of exactly one. Whitney was great when I was not much in a pop culture place, so she's not much on my music radar screen.
For me, she's an example of someone with a wonderful voice who gave up control of that voice and her career to someone else. Ditto Celine Dione.
I wouldn't go so far as to say that Whitney is a gay icon. But we do love our dance music. And when Whitney sang happy dance music, nothing was better. Peace to you, lady.