Real Housewives of Orange County, Braunwyn Windham-Burke, has made franchise history by becoming the first LGBTQ+ housewife after coming out as lesbian this week.
Speaking with GLAAD’s Anthony Ramos, Windham-Burke said: “I’m finally comfortable enough to say: I like women. I’m gay. I’m a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. I’m a lesbian,” Windham-Burke said. “And it has taken me 42 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.”
During the interview, she credited her journey towards sobriety this year with helping her come to terms with her sexuality and said she realised a lot of the reasons why she drank was because she didn’t feel comfortable with herself. Windham-Burke also credited quarantine with helping her discover the layers of herself and get to the core of why she was so unhappy.
“So as I’m sitting down there going through the layers and kind of peeling an onion, why am I so resentful [of my husband], I slowly but surely got to the core of it, which is, I’m with the wrong gender. I think when you finally figure it out, and it clicks, you’re like ‘this is what everyone is talking about.’ I’m seeing someone right now, and after the first few times I was with her, I was like, there’s not a doubt in my head, this is where I belong.”
While she confirmed that she’s not attracted to men, she said that she and her husband, Sean Burke, are best friends and have no plans to divorce. Windham-Burke’s husband has even met the woman she’s dating, whose name is Kris. “They hang out sometimes, I mean, we go to parties together! She came over the other night, hung out with the family, had dinner with us.” she added.
“We’re finding a new normal,” Windham-Burke told Entertainment Tonight in October. “We’re renegotiating the terms of the contract when it comes to our marriage, for sure. We are [and] we will be married forever. We have 100 percent faith we are going to raise our kids and grandkids together.”
GCN fave and host of the podcast Housewives and Me, Conor Behan, said: “Braunwnyn’s coming out story is a big deal in the Real Housewives world. While some shows have featured the LGBTQ community it’s usually as supporting or ‘Friend of’ characters which means they aren’t given as much screen time.”
“Braunwyn brings a chance to possibly tell an interesting, later in life coming out story that is rarely depicted on TV or on Real Housewives.”
As for her queerness, Braunwyn Windham-Burke says it has always been there but that she suppressed it for decades. By coming out as lesbian, the Real Housewives star said that she’s free of having to keep it a secret and that she wants to be able to be her authentic self out in the open.
“I’m just now feeling like I’m becoming the woman I was supposed to be,” she concluded, “So for me to be living completely authentically and say I’m a lesbian — that’s who I’ve always been.”
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