Support builds for ‘Sister Wives’ daughter who revealed she is gay

Mariah Brown told her family on Sunday’s episode of “Sister Wives” that she is gay.
Mariah Brown told her family on Sunday’s episode of “Sister Wives” that she is gay. TLC

“Sister Wives” daughter Mariah Brown dropped a bombshell on her family in Sunday’s episode.

The 21-year-old college student, one of 18 children in the polygamist Brown family, told her five parents: “I’m gay.”

The full fallout from family members has yet to be revealed. In a preview of the show’s next episode, which airs Sunday, Mariah’s mother, Meri, and father, Kody, compare notes.

“You were like smiling and happy and saying you were so happy for her. And I’m just ... I don’t ...” Meri stammers.

“We’re not happy Mariah’s gay; we’re happy Mariah knows herself,” Kody says.

Mariah told People magazine that being raised a devout fundamentalist Mormon made her terrified of being gay so she became a self-proclaimed homophobe.

While their faith does not approve of homosexuality, the Brown family told The Huffington Post in 2013 that people should be allowed to structure their families in any way they want, whether gay or straight.

“I remember being in church, and they talked about how being gay was bad,” Mariah told People. “But none of that came from my parents. It was from church and the people I was around. One bishop told me gay people were selfish.”

Her inner conflict continued until she met a guide at a college she visited as a high school senior.

“That was sort of the start of realizing this is OK,” she told People. “My whole life I tried to shut it out. I was finally letting myself be real. I had this image I had to uphold, and when I started letting that go, I realized I didn’t have to be the person I thought I had to be.”

After the episode aired Sunday, Mariah received a lot of congratulations on social media.

She acknowledged the show of support with a tweet.