Heather Dubrow's Daughter Max Is 'Glad' She Can Be a Role Model to Sister Kat, as She Comes Out Too

"If I can start this journey of self-expression and they can learn from that in any way, I'm glad about that," says Max, 18, who first came out as bisexual on Instagram in June 2020

Being the trail blazer isn't always easy — but Heather Dubrow's oldest daughter Max says she's happy she could serve as an inspiration to her younger sister, Kat, during her own coming out journey.

"Even generally, the younger siblings have it very easy because [my twin brother Nick and I] paved the way," says Max, 18, who came out publicly on Instagram as bisexual in June 2020, and went on to write an advice book for parents who want to support their LGBTQ+ children, I'll Give It To You Straight-Ish.

"But I am glad that I could be the person to do it first because I am the confident one, the one who really doesn't care [what people say], I'm just genuinely me and that's it," she says.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

heather dubrow
Diana Koenigsberg

Kat, 15, came out as a lesbian privately to her family last summer, and is now sharing the news publicly ahead of an episode of her mom's reality show, Real Housewives of Orange County, that will deal with the subject matter.

"I was really stressed" about the news being shared on TV, Kat admits. "But I'm really grateful that I have Max as an older sister, that she has already gone through all of this. Seeing my sister be so proud, and to see her be so comfortable with herself, it just makes me feel like I have nothing to worry about."

The Real Housewives of Orange County star, 53, and her husband, renowned plastic surgeon and the star of Botched, Terry Dubrow, 63, say Kat's news briefly caused "tension" between the sisters: "It can throw sparks into the equation; it was something they had to work through," Terry says.

In the end, "I realized, if I can start this journey of self-expression and figuring out who I am, publicly or privately, and [my siblings] can learn from that in any way, then I'm glad about that," says Max. "But [Kat] definitely has a nice pathway now!"

Watch the full episode of People Features: Heather Dubrow on PeopleTV.com or on the PeopleTV app.

heather dubrow
Diana Koenigsberg

The sisters say the isolation of the pandemic was a huge factor in their individual journeys of self discovery.

"We had some trying times," Heather admits. "There was a lot of introspective time, I think, for everyone."

"That was when I really started questioning my own sexuality. I wasn't with friends 24/7," adds Kat. "So I really started to figure out who I am versus who I am with my friends."

For Max, "putting aside all of the awful things the pandemic brought, I think it was really a great growing and learning experience for me, personally. It's all about being unapologetically yourself and then whatever the happens after, you just have to not care because it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks."

For more from Heather Dubrow and her family, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

Related Articles