MN2S recently partnered reality television star Braunwyn Windham-Burke with American Addiction Centers for a web series focused on addiction. We caught up with the Real Housewives star to hear more about her journey towards sobriety and her experience recently coming out as a LGBTQ+ woman.
Hi Braunwyn. Please briefly introduce yourself for our readers and let us know what’s going on in your life at the moment.
“Hi! I’m Braunwyn Windham Burke, and you either know me best from the Real Housewives of Orange County, or from my sobriety and LGBTQ+ content on Instagram. I caused quite the controversy on Real Housewives by coming out as the first gay housewife. After being together with my husband Sean for 26 years, and 7 kids later, I decided to get sober. After almost half a year of sobriety, I came out officially as a lesbian to my family and friends, then eventually publicly. My family and I are currently working toward the goal of being a true “modern family”.”
Can you tell us a little about your recent partnership with American Addiction Centers?
“American Addiction Centers is an amazing resource for all those who are struggling. I had the pleasure of talking to Joy on her IG show, and discuss all things sobriety, especially during the holidays. Being able to partner with AAC was helpful to me, as talking to any sober people always is. However, I especially loved reading all the comments and saw all the people we were encouraging in real time!”
How important is the issue of addiction to you personally?
“Spreading awareness about addiction is one of the most important parts of my life. I think especially for women and LGBTQ+, there is a certain normalization of alcohol in our everyday lives. Whether through “mommy wine” or “meme culture”, we are conditioned to believe we can’t be our full selves without alcohol. I had a friend, and fellow Bravo cast member, Captain Sandy, who helped me get sober, and now I look forward to being able to share my story with others in hopes of helping them.”
Do you feel that we could be doing more as a society to tackle these challenges?
“I think that representation in media is the most important thing for societal acceptance and understanding of alcoholism. Especially with all the nuances that come with it, addiction can look different for everyone. More people speaking out and being represented is the first step to understanding!”
What is the most important lesson that the journey of recovery has taught you?
““Do what you can, with what you have, where you are” is the motto I live by everyday in my recovery. Everyday is different, so one step at a time is KEY.”
You recently came out as a member of the LGBTQ community. How does it feel to be open about your sexuality after previously not disclosing this information to the public?
“Coming out feels like breaking a million boxes into confetti, especially in the very non traditional way that I came out. Not many people, women especially, come out later in life. It’s not as easy to come out when you are already married to a man or a mom of quite a few little ones. However, being free about my sexuality has allowed me to be a better mom, and be more honest about influencing my family and those who follow me to embrace their true selves.”
How can our readers do their part to support others in the community?
“Since social media is the wave of the future, I recommend following sober creators and sober/LGBTQ+ or POC creators. Again, addiction looks differently for everyone, so learning how it affects different communities is a beautiful thing, and can help you be a better ally. “
What do you have coming up in 2022?
“In 2022, I hope to continue to spread my story, and speak about sobriety and all of it’s facets. I also hope to share some amazing LGBTQ+/sobriety focused projects.”