“The Real Housewives of Orange County” star Braunwyn Windham-Burke recently opened up to GLAAD about her sexuality, confirming that she is a lesbian. This makes Windham-Burke the first-ever openly LGBTQ+ main cast-member on the entire “Real Housewives” franchise — even after airing for over 21 years.
“I’m finally comfortable enough to say I like women. I’m gay. I’m a member of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m a lesbian,” Windham-Burke told the organization. “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 — and to be able to be comfortable in my own skin after so long is just so nice.”
The reality star’s sexuality came into the public eye after a kiss with former co-star Tamra Judge on season 14 of the long-running show. While Windham-Burke said that it took her time to become okay sharing this part of her life, she’s been “baby-stepping into” it since the reunion last year.
“I had a scene with Tamra that everyone kind of talked about,” she said. “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.'”
Windham-Burke’s husband of over 20 years, Sean, shared support for his wife after her interview with GLAAD via Instagram stories. “I love you. I’m proud of you. And I support you. Always,” he wrote. The couple is reportedly planning on staying married and continuing to raise their children as a family unit, though each of them will continue to see other people.
Windham-Burke also mentioned in the interview with GLAAD that her journey toward sobriety this year helped her understand and embrace her sexuality. The new season of “Real Housewives of Orange County” is currently running, but there’s no clear answer to whether Windham-Burke’s sexuality will be a plot point at all moving forward. What’s clear is that the reality star now feels freer to live her truth authentically and free of judgment.
“I’m just now feeling like I’m becoming the woman I was supposed to be,” said Windham-Burke. “So for me to be living completely authentically and say I’m a lesbian — that’s who I’ve always been.”