Though we were treated with glimpses of Real Housewives of New Jersey
star Kathy Wakile's sister Rosie Pierri last season, this season she has had more of a starring role, appearing in nearly every episode. In last night's episode
, Rosie dealt with coming out of the closet to her niece and nephew as well as coming out to the world on television.
"I've had some struggles, so at this point in my life I'm trying to stay positive all the time, because some other things along the way made me this person," Rosie said in an interview with the Huffington Post
. "As you get older and you grow, you become who you're going to be in life. And that's what I think is happening. It's just me being me."
Her sister Kathy knows first-hand what it was like when Rosie was living with her secret, years before deciding to come out.
"Rosie would go from being so completely happy to other times when I would see such sadness and pain in her eyes," Kathy wrote on her Bravo blog
. "I always wished she would just say the words so the wedge would be gone and we could be close as sisters are meant to be. What an unnecessary burden she had been carrying for so long. If only she had spoken to me sooner. The most important lesson I learned is that everything comes about in its own time, and you can't force something that's not meant to happen."
Rosie does offer an explanation as to why it took her so long to come forward to her sister about her sexuality.
"Before I could actually ask somebody else to accept me, I had to accept myself and I wasn't ready to do that," she said to the Huffington Post
. "I was struggling. Like, this is not what I'm supposed to be? Why is this happening to me? I was kind of upset about it."
Rosie also addressed her decision to come out to Kathy's kids on TV, saying that even with the little exposure she had on last season, it was possible they could find out through the Internet or the tabloids.
"I didn't want them to find out that way," she said. "They don't look at me like that; they look at me as their Aunt Rosie. They see me as funny, happy, having a good time, kidding around. That's what they see. They don't see somebody who is gay or not gay; they have loving hearts."
Kathy wrote in her blog that she thought the subject was approached with her kids at the appropriate time and age, and applauded her sister for being so brave.
"The heartfelt conversation that Rosie had with Victoria and Joseph was an important one for everyone to see," Kathy blogged. "I admire Rosie so much for being incredibly brave in sharing the story of how she struggled to accept herself. Having those conversations with teenagers really helps them to understand what it truly means to be born homosexual. The message that Rosie wants to send young adults is don't be afraid, it does get better."
As for coming out on television, Rosie agreed that it was important to share her message.
"To do it in front of the camera I thought would be a good thing to show the viewers," Rosie said. "If there's people out there who are struggling like I did, why make them struggle so bad the way I did? Maybe it'll help somebody else out there, even people on the other end of it that are not the person who is gay-- the other people who have to accept it and maybe don't understand it." Gina PusateriContributing Writer(Image courtesy of Bravo)