Feeling free! Braunwyn Windham-Burke is living her best life with girlfriend Victoria Brito.
“Meeting her has been phenomenal,” the Real Housewives of Orange County alum, 44, exclusively gushed to Us Weekly on Friday, May 6, at the 2022 GLAAD Media Awards in New York City. “And I think falling in love, especially falling in love later in life, it makes me appreciate it all so much more.”
The former reality star, who is still married to — but separated from — husband Sean Burke, came out as gay in December 2020 in a candid interview with GLAAD.
“I like women. I’m gay,” she announced at the time. “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.”
The former Bravo personality, who shares seven children with Sean, 47, has been in a relationship with Brito since late 2021. (The couple are “smitten [with] each other,” a source exclusively told Us at the time.)
Braunwyn couldn’t be happier with the modern relationship she has with her girlfriend, estranged husband and their children — and is proud to be seen as an LGBTQ+ icon.
“I’m so glad for the children I’ve had. My ex-husband is amazing … I’m so grateful,” she told Us at the GLAAD event, adding that while she “wishes there had been the representation that we have now when I was younger,” she’s happy to “show women it’s never to late to start living your authentic self.”
Braunwyn is also “so grateful that we get to show up and that we also get to show the younger generations,” she explained. “I get to show my own kids, not only is it okay to be queer but ‘Look: Mom’s doing it. And it’s amazing.’”
The California native told Us that she now feels “free” in her life. “It’s like I’m wearing the right size coat, finally,” she divulged. Brito added: “I think, especially, right now in the world we live in, it’s so necessary to show happiness.”
Since coming out in December 2020, Braunwyn has had several relationships with women, revealing to Us in September 2021 that things had previously progressed romantically with fellow RHOC alum Fernanda Rocha in February 2020, though she confirmed their split. She also told Us at the time that while she has no plans to divorce her husband, the two were no longer living together.
In October 2021, one month after Braunwyn and Rocha split, the mom of seven made her red carpet debut with girlfriend Jamie Parton. The pair called it quits less than two months later, and she quickly coupled up with Brito. The two have been going strong since December 2021.
With reporting by Travis Cronin