In October, Braunwyn Windham-Burke spoke about how she used alcohol to hide from her sexuality for most of her life.
Now, after months of sobriety, she is ready to come out officially: she is a lesbian! Congratulations, Braunwyn!
“I’m finally comfortable enough to say: I like women. I’m gay," Braunwyn Windham-Burke announced on Wednesday, December 2.
In her video interview with GLAAD, Braunwyn continued: "I’m a member of the LGBTQIA+ community."
"I’m a lesbian," Braunwyn shared.
"And it has taken me 42 years to say that," Braunwyn acknowledged.
"But," she affirmed, "I’m so proud of where I am right now."
"And," Braunwyn continued, "I’m so happy where I am."
"To be able to be comfortable in my own skin after so long is just so nice," Braunwyn expressed.
“This year, I got sober," she reminded.
Braunwyn then recognized: "which I know there is a correlation between the two."
"I know that when you get sober and you start doing the work that goes into that," Braunwyn began to explain.
She continued: "you start realizing a lot of the reasons you drank had to do with who you were on the inside."
"This sort of became something that I didn’t want to hide anymore," Braunwyn expressed, "and I didn’t want to keep a secret anymore."
"I wanna be able to go out to dinner with whoever I want without judgment," Braunwyn explained.
"You know," she continued, "as long as my husband was okay and the person I was dating was okay and knows everything."
"I didn’t wanna have to hide this anymore," Braunwyn said of her decision to publicly come out.
“I’m still getting used to it...I knew I was attracted to women," Braunwyn stated. "I always have been..."
"I got married very young and I never thought about it," she explained.
"So to be 42," Braunwyn reflected, "I’m just now starting to feel like I’m becoming the woman I was supposed to be."
"So," Braunwyn said, "for me to be living completely authentically and say, ‘I’m a lesbian. That was who I have always been.’"
She emphasized: "This isn’t something that is new ‘cause that I think is what a lot of people will think. ‘Oh, suddenly you’re one.’"
"No, I’ve always known it," Braunwyn stated. "But it took me personally 42 years to be comfortable enough in my own skin to say that.”
“Honestly, we are in uncharted territory," Braunwyn acknowledged.
"I don’t have a role model for this," she explained. "I don’t have anyone to go to for answers."
"So right now," Braunwyn related, "we’re just doing our own way."
"You know, Sean and I are still married," Braunwyn revealed. "I plan on staying married..."
"We’re raising the kids together," the mother of seven noted.
Speaking of Sean, Braunwyn affirmed: "He’s my best friend."
"He knows the girl I’m dating; her name is Kris," Braunwyn confirmed. "I mean, we go to parties together!"
"She came over the other night, hung out with the family, had dinner with us," she shared.
"I mean," Braunwyn wisely characterized, "it’s only as weird as you make it.”
“I knew putting Jacob on TV, doing something that was very personal to him, could have some backlash," she said of letting her son appear in drag on RHOC.
"I have been very, very, very pleasantly surprised that, at least from my social media, it has been almost 100% positive," she noted.
"And just supporting him," Braunwyn gushed about her son, "people who are DMing him, welcoming him to the community. It’s been like the most beautiful thing..."
"I think with the temperament of the country right now," Braunwyn noted, "sometimes you forget how many good people there are."
"At least I have at times," she admitted. No, she is not alone in the slightest.
"Just to see the amount of love and acceptance for my son," Braunwyn said with warmth, "it has been beautiful.”
“Hopefully, when this comes out, there’s gonna be other people that say, ‘Oh hey, I can relate to this!’ or ‘Hey, thank you!’" Braunwyn expressed.
"And that," she concluded, "will make it better.”
Congratulations on living as your authentic self, Braunwyn! Welcome to the family!
Some may be confused how a woman who has children could be a lesbian. Most were expecting that she might identify as bi or pan.
First of all, Braunwyn gets to pick her label and only Braunwyn gets to pick her label.
Second of all, a lot of gay, lesbian, and ace people have complicated relationship histories. Sexuality is complicated, and societal expectations play a massive role in keeping people closeted and even in denial.
When Braunwyn speaks about being 42 and just starting her authentic journey, that will resonate with many.
So many in the LGBTQ+ community reach milestones years or decades after their straight, cisgender peers.
"First dates" in their 20s because they couldn't safely date as teens. Coming out as trans when they're parents or grandparents because it finally feels safe. A lot of people will relate to Braunwyn's journey.