Real Housewives of Orange County's Braunwyn Windham-Burke Comes Out: "I'm a Lesbian"

The Real Housewives of Orange County star Braunwyn Windham-Burke revealed in a new interview that she's "finally comfortable enough" to say she's a lesbian.

By Allison Crist Dec 02, 2020 8:06 PMTags

Braunwyn Windham-Burke is opening up about her sexuality. 

The Real Housewives of Orange County star came out as a lesbian and revealed she's currently dating a woman during an interview with GLAAD on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

"I'm finally comfortable enough to say: I like women. I'm gay. I'm a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. I'm a lesbian," Braunwyn declared. "And 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."

The 43-year-old reality TV star explained that she's "still getting used to it," but "I knew I was attracted to women." 

"I always have been," she continued. "I got married very young and I never thought about it. So to be 42...I'm just now starting to feel like I'm becoming the woman I was supposed to be. So for me to be living completely authentically and say, 'I'm a lesbian. That was who I have always been.' This isn't something that is new...No, I've always known it. But it took me personally 42 years to be comfortable enough in my own skin to say that." 

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Braunwyn is still married to her husband of more than 20 years, Sean Burke, and they share seven children together: Hazel, 2, Koa, 4, twins Caden and Curran, 7, Jacob, 15, Rowan, 18, and Bella, 20. Though she's currently dating a woman, she doesn't plan to file for divorce or leave Sean.

"I love Sean. I love him dearly, he is my person, he is my family," Braunwyn told GLAAD. "But I'm not attracted to men and I never have been."

Tommy Garcia/Bravo

"Honestly, we are in uncharted territory," she said. "I don't have a role model for this. I don't have anyone to go to for answers. So right now, we're just doing our own way."

The Bravo star continued, "You know, 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 added that Sean has not only met Kris, the woman she's seeing, but that she's been over to their house, too. "I mean, we go to parties together! She came over the other night, hung out with the family, had dinner with us," the Bravo personality shared. "I mean, it's only as weird as you make it."

As for her children's reaction to the news about her sexuality, Braunwyn said they weren't "shocked at all." 

Among the many factors that contributed to Braunwyn coming to terms with her sexuality was her RHOC on-screen kiss with Tamra Judge last season. 

"I had a scene with Tamra that everyone kind of talked about," she began. "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.'"

Braunwyn added, "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."

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Her journey to sobriety helped, too.

"I know there's a correlation between the two," she told GLAAD. "I know when you get sober and you start doing the work that goes into that, you start realizing a lot of the reasons you drank had to do with who you were on the inside."

Listen to the complete interview here.

(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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