At the end of 2020, RHOC star Braunwyn Windham-Burke revealed that she is a lesbian. The 43-year-old mom of seven shared with GLAAD at the time, “I’m still getting used to it … I knew I was attracted to women. 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." Braunwyn turned 43 on November 25.
She continued, "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."
Although there had been rumors about Braunwyn and her longtime husband, Sean Burke, splitting up, Braunwyn claimed they had no such plans. “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. 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," she said.
Back in October, Braunwyn revealed that she and Sean were living in separate homes.
Even though Braunwyn and Sean are legally married, the reality star has been dating women for some time now. She talked about her first serious girlfriend shortly after coming out, but now the former reality star is seeing fellow RHOC alum Fernanda Rocha, who appeared in the franchise as a friend of Tamra Judge.
Braunwyn Windham-Burke recently revealed she and Fernanda Rocha are together.
On June 21, Braunwyn officially revealed to Page Six that she and the former RHOC star are together. She did not reveal just how long they've been seeing each other, though she suggested their relationship is a more recent development.
“What started as a friendship has become something more — I am so grateful for her — she is beyond amazing,” she told the outlet. “Not only has she been a source of strength, but she has taken me under her wing and helped me navigate my coming out. Without the show, I never would have met Fernanda, so I am forever grateful for that.”
Braunwyn credits Fernanda's friendship as a big support in her coming-out journey, but clarified that it wasn't until after Fernanda's divorce that they became more than friends.
Braunwyn said that while they're together, the two are not exclusive and are free to date other people.
“I’m glad I met her,” Braunwyn said. “We’ve been hanging out for a while. We didn’t become more than friends until recently. She’s definitely special.”
Braunwyn had another girlfriend before Fernanda.
Before Braunwyn and Fernanda became an item, Braunwyn shared a little bit of information about her first girlfriend, Kris. She said at the time in her GLAAD interview, "I met someone that I was interested in pursuing a relationship with. It became something that I didn't want to hide anymore and I didn't want to keep secret anymore."
Despite her confirming their relationship publicly, Kris and Braunwyn kept the romance off social media as much as possible, only posting occasional snaps together on Instagram Stories.
This makes Braunwyn the first openly gay Housewife. It sounds like we'll get to be a part of Braunwyn's journey, as she told GLAAD, “This was all going on in my house in real time. It kind of started during filming, and then afterwards.” It's definitely up to the reality star in regards to how much she wants to share — her coming-out story is hers, and hers alone, and she deserves all the praise for setting such a great example for many folks out there who may be too scared or uncertain of what might happen if they reveal their sexual preferences to others.
Braunwyn is certainly lucky and privileged that she has such a supportive family. At the end of 2020, her own husband even took to Instagram Stories to publicly express his support, which is heartwarming to see. Not everyone has this kind of support system.
"It feels so good to finally be living my truth. I am a lesbian. At 43 years old, I’ve finally been able to accept this part of myself and I’ve realized there are no rules about when someone should come out. This is my time," Braunwyn wrote on Instagram in December 2020. Yes, it is!