Real Housewives of Orange County star Braunwyn Windham-Burke came out as a lesbian on Wednesday in an interview with GLAAD’s Anthony Ramos (below).
Said Windham-Burke: “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. I’m a member of the LGBTQI+ community. I’m a lesbian. 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.”
Windham-Burke has been married to her husband Sean Burke for more than 20 years, and they have seven children. We featured her son Jacob on Towleroad earlier this year after he revealed his drag persona. Windham-Burke said she decided to come out after last years’ RHOOC reunion.
Said Windham-Burke: “I had a scene with Tamra that everyone kind of talked about. When we were getting ready for the reunion I was talking to a producer that I trust a lot, his name was James, and he said, ‘How do you feel about this? Was it a drunken mistake or is this a part of who you are?’ And I said, ‘This is who I am.’ When I went to the reunion last year I kind of started babystepping into, ‘This is who I am, I like women,’ and kind of testing the waters with my friends, my cast, my family.”
Windham-Burke said her husband supports her: “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. We are in unchartered territories. Sean and I are still married, I plan on staying married. We are not sleeping in the same bedroom right now, but we are in the same house. We are raising our kids together, he’s my best friend. He knows the girl I’m dating.”
Windham-Burke also talked about some of the things that stopped her from coming out earlier: “I grew up in a time when, you know, my idea of what being a lesbian was was you had short hair, you wore flannel. There’s a very masculine stereotype, so when I was younger I never really thought that I could be that. I knew I was attracted to women. I always have been. But I liked makeup and hair and I didn’t quite understand what to do with that.”
Watch the full interview: