DWTS’ Julianne Hough Opens Up About Being Queer & Mormon

Getty Co-owners of Fresh Vine Wine, Julianne Hough (L) and Nina Dobrev visit the New York Stock Exchange

Former “Dancing With the Stars” pro-turned-judge Julianne Hough opened up in a new interview about how hard it can be to identify as queer and also be a member of the Mormon church.

Here is what she had to say about her experience with coming out and also her divorce from ex-husband Brooks Laich.

Coming Out Was Julianne’s ‘Truth’

In an interview with the New York Post as part of her Broadway debut in the play “POTUS: Or, Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive,” Julianne talked about how she came out as bisexual to her ex-husband Brooks Laich, something she previously addressed in a Women’s Health interview as well.

To the Post, Julianne said that she didn’t mean for that interview to be her big “coming out” moment, but that is kind of what ended up happening.

“I didn’t really have a moment of like, ‘I’m going to do this.’ It just was,” said Julianne. “I just said something and, you know, it just came out that way. And it is my truth. Everybody’s [coming-out] experience is different, and I come from a Mormon background where … it hasn’t been looked at as something that’s accepted. But I know that my parents, my friends, my family love me, and they’re proud of me. And so I had a really good experience.”

She added that her brother Derek Hough, who was also a “Dancing With the Stars” pro dancer and is now a judge, helps her a lot — “We help each other and balance each other out.”

In the Women’s Health interview, Julianne acknowledged that when she told her husband, “You know I’m not straight, right?”, at first, it threw him for a loop, but she assured him that she was choosing to be with him and she was just unpacking a lot of things about herself.

“[T]here’s no fear of voicing things that I’ve been afraid to admit or that I’ve had shame or guilt about because of what I’ve been told or how I was raised,” she told Women’s Health.

Julianne Says Her Divorce is a ‘New Beginning’

Julianne also spoke about divorcing from Brooks Laich, which was finalized in June 2022 after they first filed for divorce in November 2020. She told the Post that they had a “beautiful separation” and she wants “nothing but the best for him.”

“We had the most beautiful separation. We went through things amicably. It was filled with love and respect. Like any relationship that means something, you learn and you grow, and you are blessed with those riches that you experienced from that relationship,” said the dancer. “We both feel beyond blessed for having each other in our lives during that period of life. I want nothing but the best for him. I wish him the best, whatever that looks like. And so that’s truly where we are.”

Julianne also revealed that she’s open to dating, even if she may not be actively pursuing it at the moment.

“I am leading with love. I’m trying to keep my heart open, but I just want to be the best version of myself,” said Julianne. “I really do believe in energy and … if I am in the best place for me, I’m going to attract people that are right for me in this moment.”

For now, Julianne is embracing the Broadway community and it is embracing her right back. She told the Post that it is not lost on her that she is currently working near the birthplace of the LGBTQ rights movement, Stonewall, and it was “truly an honor” to be asked to host the first hour of the 2022 Tony Awards, she told “CBS Mornings” in a pre-show interview.

“This is my first experience coming out to New York and being a part of the Broadway community and … [it’s] so generous and kind and welcoming. But also, after the last couple years, Broadway coming back and the 75th anniversary [of the awards], this is truly an honor to be able to be asked to host this first act of the Tony Awards,” said Julianne.

She is also keeping busy with the wine label she founded with her best friend, actress Nina Dobrev, called Fresh Vine Wine, which focuses on making wines that are lower in calories, carbohydrates, and sugar, according to the website. The two ladies celebrated their company’s initial public offering with a visit to the New York Stock Exchange in December 2021 where they rang the bell and celebrated by serving glasses of their wines.

“The idea that we can create something that was premium wine, premium taste and also really find the niche, that white space of low-calorie, low-carb and then, to do it with your best friend, is the best thing in the world,” Julianne told Fox Business at the time.

“Dancing With the Stars” returns for its 31st season in fall 2022 on Disney Plus.

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