It has been a big year for Real Housewives of Orange County personality Braunwyn Windham-Burke.
The mom-of-seven admitted to an alcohol dependency issue, revealed that she and her husband, Sean Burke, are re-defining their marriage, and now the star is stepping into her truth once again and has announced that she’s a lesbian.
Braunwyn comes out as lesbian and gives interview to GLAAD
Braunwyn took to her Instagram account to make her announcement.
In the post that features a snap of her sitting on her stairs looking glamorous, she wrote, “It feels so good to finally be living my truth. I am a lesbian. At 43 years old, I’ve finally been able to accept this part of myself and I’ve realized there are no rules about when someone should come out. This is my time.”
She continued, “Thank you @GLAAD for the support and for the interview. I’m proud to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community.”
Sitting down with GLAAD, Braunwyn discussed her decision to come out at this point in her life.
“It’s been something that I think everyone’s kind of known has been coming, but I’m finally comfortable enough to say – I like women. I’m gay. You know, I’m a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. I’m a lesbian,” she shared.
“And it has taken me forty-two years to say that, but I’m so proud of where I am right now and I’m so happy where I am. To be able to be comfortable in my own skin after so long is just so nice.”
When asked why she felt that now was the right time to share this, she responded that it was after a scene from last season and interaction with an RHOC producer that had her reflecting on this.
“I think it started last year. I had a scene with Tamra [Judge] that everyone kind of talked about and when we were getting ready for the reunion, I was talking to a producer that I trusted a lot, his name was James. And he said, ‘How do you feel about this? Was it a drunken mistake or is this part of who you are?’ And I said, ‘This is who I am.'”
Braunwyn then explained that James told her to “own it” so she began testing the waters with her friends and family by hinting that she might “like women.” She said that her hints were relatively well-received, and no one in her inner-circle seemed to care, which surprised her.
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How will Braunwyn coming out impact her marriage?
Braunwyn was then asked about her marriage.
“You mentioned your husband, Sean. I think there’s some people that will hear this and potentially think that you’re bi-sexual because they’re going to say, ‘how can you have been married to a man for twenty plus years and have seven children?’ But you are saying that that’s not the case, correct?” asked interviewer Anthony Ramos.
“I love Sean. I love him dearly. He is my person. He is my family. But I’m not attracted to men and I never have been,” she confessed.
“I love him and obviously over the course of twenty years, I’ve learned to love him and love him like that. But, I mean…and obviously, this has been the topic of many a conversation in our household between the two of us. But I’ve never looked at men that way. That’s never how I’ve looked at men.”
She then admitted that she’s currently dating someone and Anthony asked her how she makes it all work and piece together.
“We are in unchartered territories. I don’t have a role model for this, I don’t have anyone to go to for answers. So, right now we’re just doing it our own way. Sean and I are still married, I plan on staying married. We’re not sleeping in the same bedroom right now but we’re in the same house. We’re raising the kids together. He’s my best friend. He knows the girl I’m dating, her name is Kris.”
She also said that her girlfriend has come over to their home and spent time with the family, including Sean.
“It’s only as weird as you make it,” she said. “I don’t know how we’re all making it work right now, but we are. I think being honest and communicating’s the biggest part.”
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Wednesdays at 9/8 on Bravo.