‘RHOC’: Braunwyn Windham-Burke Comes Out as a Lesbian, Why She’s Not Leaving Her Husband

Yesterday, Braunwyn Windham-Burke made history as the first real housewife to come out as a lesbian. The Real Housewives of Orange County star took to Instagram to share the announcement and gave a candid interview with GLAAD. While Windham-Burke is a lesbian, she has been married to her husband Sean Burke for over 20 years. Do they plan to stay together?

Sean Burke, Braunwyn Windham-Burke, Tamra Judge, Eddie Judge
Sean Burke, Braunwyn Windham-Burke, Tamra Judge, Eddie Judge | Randy Shropshire/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

How did Braunwyn decide to come out?

Windham-Burke shocked fans when she came out in her interview with GLAAD yesterday.

“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 continued. “I’ve always known it, but it took me, personally, 42 years to be comfortable in my own skin to say that.”

An interaction with a producer from the show pushed Windham-Burke to recognize who she really is.

“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.'”

Before fully coming out, Windham-Burke decided to lightly see how her friends and family would react.

“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.”

The reality star said she ultimately came out because she found someone she wanted to be in a relationship with and didn’t want to hide it.

Braunwyn is staying with her husband

Windham-Burke and Burke have shared a lot in life over the past two decades. They also have seven children together, ranging from age 2 to 20.

“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 many conversations, the two decided to stay married and continue living together.

“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.”


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Who is Braunwyn dating?

After coming out, Windham-Burke shared a photo of the woman that she is dating to her Instagram story with the rainbow flag and pink heart emoji. Sources revealed to People that the woman’s name is Kris.

In her interview with GLAAD, Windham Burke revealed that Kris spends time with her, her kids, and her husband.

“It’s only as weird as you make it,” she said. “I don’t know how we are making it all work right now, but we are.”