Today, GLAAD released an exclusive interview with The Real Housewives of Orange County star Braunwyn Windham-Burke in which she reveals publicly for the first time that she identifies as a lesbian.
Watch the exclusive interview below:
At the beginning of the interview, Windham-Burke reveals to Ramos: “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. 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.”
Check out some of the other highlights from the interview below:
Windham-Burke on how becoming sober helped with her journey to self-acceptance: “This year, I got sober, which I know there is a correlation between the two. I know that when you get sober and you start doing the work that goes into that, you start realizing a lot of the reasons you drank had to do with who you were on the inside…This sort of became something that I didn’t want to hide anymore and I didn’t want to keep a secret anymore. I wanna be able to go out to dinner with whoever I want without judgment. You know, as long as my husband was okay and the person I was dating was okay and knows everything. I didn’t wanna have to hide this anymore.”
Windham-Burke on now identifying as a lesbian: “I’m still getting used to it…I knew I was attracted to women. I always have been…I got married very young and I never thought about it. So to be 42…I’m just now starting to feel like I’m becoming the woman I was supposed to be. So for me to be living completely authentically and say, ‘I’m a lesbian. That was who I have always been.’ This isn’t something that is new ‘cause that I think is what a lot of people will think. ‘Oh, suddenly you’re one.’ No, I’ve always known it. But it took me personally 42 years to be comfortable enough in my own skin to say that.”
Windham-Burke on navigating her marriage and her new relationship with a woman: “Honestly, we are in uncharted territory. 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 our own way. You know, Sean and I are still married. I plan on staying married…We’re raising the kids together. He’s my best friend. He knows the girl I’m dating; her name is Kris. I mean, we go to parties together! She came over the other night, hung out with the family, had dinner with us. I mean, it’s only as weird as you make it.”
Windham-Burke on supporting her son Jacob doing drag for the first time: “I knew putting Jacob on TV, doing something that was very personal to him, could have some backlash. I have been very, very, very pleasantly surprised that, at least from my social media, it has been almost 100% positive. And just supporting him…people who are DMing him, welcoming him to the community. It’s been like the most beautiful thing…I think with the temperament of the country right now, sometimes you forget how many good people there are. At least I have at times. Just to see the amount of love and acceptance for my son, it has been beautiful.”
Windham-Burke on how she hopes sharing her story can help others: “Hopefully, when this comes out, there’s gonna be other people that say, ‘Oh hey, I can relate to this!’ or ‘Hey, thank you!’ and that will make it better.”
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Wednesdays at 9pm on Bravo TV.