It’s a moment that would make anyone nervous. For Mariah Brown, coming out to her Fundamentalist Mormon family could not have been easy.
On the latest episode of TLC’s Sister Wives, Mariah, the only biological child of first wife Meri Brown, finally came out as lesbian.
“You guys freaking out is making me freak out!” she said nervously. Father Kody Brown tried guessing that Mariah had gotten into medical school, but she told her dad she hadn’t even begun applying yet.
As a matter of fact, Kody’s guess had absolutely nothing to do with Mariah’s schooling.
“Okay, um, I’m gay,” she says with a very nervous smile. The 21-year-old had sat down her famous parents, including sister wives Janelle, Christine, and Robyn, as well as some other loved ones before telling them the big news.
She is one of 18 children in the polygamist family. Mariah is currently attending college in Utah, and after Sunday’s episode aired, she expressed gratitude to the fans supporting her sexuality.
“Wow okay y’all making me cry with your support. Thank you thank you thank you,” she wrote with an added Pride flag.
Unfortunately, not everyone was supportive right away.
Right after Mariah announces that she’s gay, two of Kody’s wives say, “Are you serious?” and “Are you really?” But her own mother and father stay silent.
This looks to be the conflict of the next episode, as previews show Meri struggling with the announcement. “I thought I knew my daughter—I didn’t,” she cries to the TLC cameras.
During a discussion with Kody and Robyn, Meri is upset that they seemed so happy.
“I did not see it coming. You were like smiling and happy and saying you were so happy for her, and I just…” Meri accused Robyn.
But Kody jumps in to explain their reactions. “We’re not saying we’re happy that Mariah’s gay, we’re happy that she knows herself.”
Though Fundamentalist Mormonism traditionally rejects homosexuality, the five stars of Sister Wives have said they individually support gay marriage. In a 2013 Huffington Post Live interview, Kody said, “We have established our family the way we’ve chosen to, we’ve organized it the way we wanted to, we believe that all people should be allowed to have that right.”
Robyn added, “All adults should be able to choose who they love and how they structure their family. I have some very close friends who are homosexual.”
Now all that remains is to see how, or if, Meri will come to terms with her daughter’s sexuality.