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Jennifer Aydin is very proud of her brother, Steven Altinel, who shared his journey in coming out during The Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 10. Jennifer has continued to support Steven as their mother struggled to accept his sexuality, and in a June 14 Instagram post, the Aydin family showed their love in a special way.
Steven joined Jennifer, her husband, Bill Aydin, and five children in dressing in bright, monochromatic outfits to create a rainbow. “Teach love and acceptance and be proud of your family,” Jennifer captioned a series of photos of the family posing around the house, adding the pride flag emoji and the hashtags “education,” “love,” “wear your pride proud,” “gay pride,” and “family.”
On the December 18 episode of RHONJ, Jennifer and Steven spoke candidly about their family, which you can watch in the video above. “You’ve just got to understand the mentality of my parents. Culturally, it’s a shame to have a gay child. Your reputation means so much that you don’t want anything to risk ‘tainting’ it. So, my parents know he’s gay, but they never speak of it,” Jennifer revealed.
Later, after hearing Jennifer and Steven’s conversation, Jennifer’s daughter, Gabriella, confronted her grandmother about her beliefs. Jennifer was extremely upset when her mother then pretended not to know Steven is gay.
“I knew my mother didn’t like to talk about Steven’s sexuality, but hearing her lying to her own granddaughter, that really bothers me. I grew up with my mom lying to keep up a facade, and that was my normal, and that’s not what I want my kids’ normal to be. I live my life trying to be forthright and truthful with everything,” said Jennifer, noting how proud she was of Gabriella for addressing the issue head on.
However, it seems as though the family has seen some progress since they began to have more honest conversations. During the February 19 episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Jennifer shared an update on Steven’s relationship with their mother, saying, “I think their relationship has evolved, and has gotten so much better. Now, we’re at a place where if Steven wanted to come with a boyfriend, my mother would be okay with it.”
Steven, who was the WWHL bartender that night, added, “I would say before the show, it didn’t seem like it was even an option. And now Jennifer’s opened up the conversation, so it feels great.”
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