Women We Love 2022: Braunwyn Windham-Burke

Braunwyn Windham-Burke

by Casian Photography

Reality TV star, activist, and mother Braunwyn Windham-Burke wants to make a positive impact on the world. A housewife of 19 years, she was excited by the opportunity to join the cast of Real Housewives of Orange County. “I’m a big believer that sharing your stories helps people in ways that you couldn’t imagine,” she tells GO. Sharing her story on television led her to some pretty momentous changes of her own: she came out, and got sober. While being the first lesbian housewife on Real Housewives of Orange County was not easy—she faced isolation and pushback after she came out— Windham-Burke takes com- fort knowing she isn’t alone, and by reassuring others they aren’t, either. “There’s a peace that comes with knowing you’re not alone,” she says. “Representation matters: seeing yourself represented in the media, whether it be on TV, podcasts, or social media, means that you are not alone. Representation saves lives.” Now, Windham-Burke uses her plat- form to fight for safety and visibility within her community, working with organizations like PFLAG and GLAAD to bring awareness to LGTBQ+ issues, including those which impact LGBTQ+ children, mental health awareness, and the sober community. “There is so much work to be done, and we are just getting started,” she says. But as a funny, quirky, optimistic woman, she has the strength to keep fighting. –AB

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