Braunwyn Windham-Burke revealed in a new interview that she identifies as a lesbian.
“I’m still getting used to it … I knew I was attracted to women,” the 42-year-old Real Housewives of Orange County star told GLAAD on Wednesday, December 2. “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 ‘cause that I think is what a lot of people will think. ‘Oh, suddenly you’re one.’ No, I’ve always known it. But it took me personally 42 years to be comfortable enough in my own skin to say that.”
Braunwyn previously told Us Weekly exclusively that she was seeing someone “special” who wasn’t her husband of 20 years, Sean Burke. While there has been a lot of speculation about the pair — who share Bella, 20, Rowan, 18, Jacob, 15, 7-year-old twins Caden and Curren, Koa, 5, and Hazel, 2 — the reality TV star insists that they have no plans to separate.
“Honestly, we are in uncharted territory. I don’t have a role model for this. I don’t have anyone to go to for answers,” she admitted. “So right now, we’re just doing our own way. You know, Sean and I are still married. I plan on staying married … we’re raising the kids together. He’s my best friend.”
Braunwyn added that Sean has met Kris, the woman she’s dating.
“I mean, we go to parties together! She came over the other night, hung out with the family, had dinner with us,” she said. “I mean, it’s only as weird as you make it.”
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Braunwyn and Sean, who wed in 2000, briefly separated after they welcomed their eldest son, but later reunited and welcomed four more children. Last month, RHOC viewers watched the pair renew their vows in honor of their 20th wedding anniversary. During the current season, the reality TV personality has also been open about her battle with substance abuse.
“This year, I got sober, which I know there is a correlation between the two,” Braunwyn told GLAAD. “I know that 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…This sort of became something that I didn’t want to hide anymore, 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. You know, as long as my husband was OK and the person I was dating was OK and knows everything. I didn’t wanna have to hide this anymore.”