RHOC's Braunwyn Windham-Burke Comes Out as a Lesbian — but Says She's Still Married to Her Husband
Braunwyn Windham-Burke is living her truth.
"I like women. I'm gay," she said. "I'm a member of the LGBTQ+ community. It has taken me 42 years to say that but I am so proud of where I am right now. I'm so happy where I am. To be able to be comfortable in my own skin after so long is just so nice."
"I'm just now starting to feel like I'm becoming the woman I'm supposed to be," she added. "I've always known it, but it took me, personally, 42 years to be comfortable in my own skin to say that."
"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.'"
"When I went to the reunion last year I kind of started baby-stepping into, 'This is who I am. I like women.' I was testing the waters with my friends, my cast, my family," she continued, adding that the news was "well-received" among those closest to her.
She said she decided to officially come out after getting sober and learning to accept herself for who she truly is. During that same time, she said she met a woman she began having feelings for.
"I met someone that I was interested in pursuing a relationship with," she said. "It became something that I didn't want to hide anymore and I didn't want to keep secret anymore."
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Braunwyn, 43, has been married to her husband Sean Burke for over 20 years. They share seven children: Hazel, 2, Koa, 4, twins Caden and Curran, 7, Jacob, 15, Rowan, 18, and Bella, 20. Though the couple briefly lived apart earlier this year while they worked on "redefining" their marriage, they have since moved back under one roof.
"I love Sean. I love him dearly, he is my person, he is my family," she said. "But I'm not attracted to men and I never have been."
After having "many" conversations with Sean about her sexuality, she said her husband is supportive of her new relationship and the two still have no plans to divorce.
"We are in unchartered territories," she said. "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."
Braunwyn said her girlfriend even spends time with Sean and her kids at their home together. And while she admitted she doesn't know what the future looks like, she is doing her best to move forward with open communication and honesty.
"It's only as weird as you make it," she said, adding that her children weren't "shocked at all" when she came out to them. "I don't know how we are making it all work right now, but we are."
The Bravo star first hinted at her sexuality in October after a fan called Sean "gay" in the comments section of one of her Instagram photos.
Braunwyn responded to the comment, saying: "No sweetie, that's me. He's straight."