Braunwyn Windham-Burke became the first openly gay cast member in “Real Housewives” history when she came out as a lesbian in December 2020. However, the journey wasn’t smooth sailing, she revealed recently, and criticized her RHOC co-stars and production for the issues in the process.
In an interview with Page Six, Windham-Burke shared the difficulties she encountered with her co-stars and said their behavior toward her was “homophobic.” She told the publication, “Making off-color jokes about me being intimate with a woman, that’s not OK. Those are microaggressions.” She added:
After I came out, having to prove that I was gay, that should never have been tolerated. That is a microagression. That is homophobia.
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Windham-Burke Also Criticized Producers for Allowing Some of Her Castmates’ Negative Comments to Air
During her interview, Windham-Burke told Page Six that part of the blame rests with production, who should not have included some of her castmates’ comments in the final edit. “One one hundredth of what we film makes it onto the show,” she explained. “So you can choose what you want … It was not easy to be the first gay ‘Housewife.’ There should have been a little more grace.” She said:
At the end of the day, it’s a show about drama but you need to have some humanity at a base level and I didn’t get that with my cast members.
Windham-Burke’s daughter Rowan, who participated in the interview, added, “It’s really invalidating that people were saying they didn’t believe it or they didn’t think it was true.” The 19-year-old, who came out as pansexual, told the publication, “Not just for my mom, but for other people who come out later in life. It’s insanely invalidating to hear people say, ‘Oh, she’s just lying. Oh, it’s not true.’”
Windham-Burke Said Her Castmates Cast Doubts on Her Coming Out & Made Comments About Her
Windham-Burke’s journey exploring her gay identity was documented on “Real Housewives of Orange County” and viewers might remember some occasions where Kelly Dodd made fun of her co-star. Dodd, who is no longer on the show, made comments about Windham-Burke’s sexual orientation, notably in one scene where she compared the smell of vaginas to raw tuna in season 15.
In another instance, RHOC cast member Emily Simpson said Windham-Burke was “selfish” for her actions as she explored being gay even though she was still married to Sean Burke, saying she was using her husband. Burke and Windham-Burke have since split but remain very close today as they raise their seven children.
In December 2020, Page Six reported that Windham-Burke came out as gay in an interview with GLAAD, saying, “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.”
Heavy reached out to Bravo for a comment but did not receive a response.
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