Braunwyn Windham-Burke is ready to live as her true self.
The Real Housewives of Orange County star came out as a lesbian during a candid interview with GLAAD on Wednesday — but the Housewife has no plans to divorce her husband.
“I like women. I’m gay,” she told GLAAD’s Anthony Ramos in a video chat interview. “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 continued. “I’ve always known it, but it took me, personally, 42 years to be comfortable in my own skin to say that.”
If you keep up with the Real Housewives, you’ll know Braunwyn as the one who shared an on-screen kiss with her former RHOC co-star, Tamra Judge. Viewers were all abuzz over it.
According to the 42-year-old reality star, it was that moment that helped her come to terms with her sexuality.
“When we were getting ready for the [RHOC] 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.'”
From that moment, she began “testing the waters” with her friends, cast mates, and family members. According to Braunwyn, the news was “well-received” among those closest to her.
There was something else that propelled Braunwyn’s decision to officially come out, too: quitting drinking.
She recently admitted that she is an alcoholic, and decided to get sober. Although the admitted that the idea of being sober “scared” her at first, she’s realized she can live her life without alcohol and is learning to accept herself for who she truly is.
During this period, she met a woman that she had feelings for.
“I met someone that I was interested in pursuing a relationship with,” she told Anthony. “It became something that I didn’t want to hide anymore and I didn’t want to keep secret anymore.”
Although Braunwyn has been married to her husband, Sean Burke, for over 20 years, she says the two have no plans to divorce.
“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.”
She says that Sean is supportive of her new relationship, and that her girlfriend spends time with Sean and their kids at their home together.
“We are in unchartered territories,” she admitted. “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.”
And while the situation may seem strange, Braunwyn said, “It’s only as weird as you make it.”
“I don’t know how we are making it all work right now,” she admitted. “But we are.”