It's never easy being the first.
When Braunwyn Windham-Burke came out as a lesbian in December of 2020, she became the first openly gay housewife in Real Housewives franchise history. Now, in a new interview, she's opening up about some of the homophobia she faced from other cast members during her coming out journey.
Speaking with Page Six, Windham-Burke detailed the homophobia that she alleges fellow Real Housewives of Orange County castmates showed her, including making jokes about her sex life and doubting that she was "really" gay after she came out.
"Making off-color jokes about me being intimate with a woman, that's not okay. Those are microaggressions," Windham-Burke said of her time on the show. "After I came out, having to prove that I was gay, that should never have been tolerated. That is a microaggression. That is homophobia."
One co-star who mocked Windham-Burke over rumors she had been romantically linked to a woman was Kelly Dodd. In a series of texts shared by Dodd after the two left the show, Dodd blamed Windham-Burke and her coming out for getting the two of them fired from the show.
"This was your fault. We'd still be on the show if you didn't make things so dark and ugly and brought all that political 'woke' BS," Dodd said to Windham-Burke. "Your lies about me, calling me a racist and homophobe were horribly destructive and your phony storylines didn't help either."
Another cast member, Emily Simpson, said onscreen that Windham-Burke was "selfish" for exploring her sexuality while being married to her now ex-husband Sean Burke, who she is maintaining a relationship with and raising their kids together with.
"One one hundredth of what we film makes it onto the show," Windham-Burke said, placing some of the blame on production. "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."
"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," she added.
Windham-Burke is currently dating Victoria Brito, a model, dancer, and designer.
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