TJ Osborne Kisses Boyfriend After CMA Awards Win 9 Months After Coming out as Gay

T.J. Osborne celebrated his 2021 CMA Awards win by sharing a special moment with his partner. During the Wednesday night ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee, the Brothers Osborne musician and his brother, John Osborne, took home their fourth win for Vocal Duo of the Year, and before taking the stage to accept the award, Osborne could be seen in the audience sharing a kiss with his boyfriend Abi Ventura.

As he accepted the trophy, Osborne, who publicly came out as gay in February, told the audience and viewers watching from home that "it's been a crazy roller coaster of a year for us in so many ways, especially for me emotionally." He added, "to have you all support me, it really does feel like love wins tonight. Thank you." As the musician exited the stage to a standing ovation, his brother took a moment to shed a little praise on his brother, saying, "give this boy a round of applause" before sharing, "we love this genre, we love the people, we love all of you so much."

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight following the milestone moment, Osborne admitted that he initially contemplated whether or not he should bring Ventura to the ceremony, as "some of those fears sneak up." However, he ultimately decided that he wants "to be open in every way," with Osborne expressing hope that the appearance alongside his boyfriend can "show people that they also don't need to hide or alter themselves in any way." He added of his boyfriend, "he very, very sweet. He's my boyfriend, [and] he is a cutie."

Later during the evening show, Brothers Osborne took the stage to perform their song "Younger Me." Osborne wrote the song about his experience coming to terms with his sexuality, and he told the Associated Press ahead of the performance that "the fact that we get to play a song that is so meaningful, particularly to myself, at a country music award show, it's one of those things that just kind of transcends the awards itself, money itself, fame." He added that "the biggest thing" that bothered him was not "that I was being recognized but it kind of gave the message that maybe people that are gay or LGBTQ aren't really that accepted in this state. While that may be true in certain areas of our stage, I don't feel like it is in Nashville. It's a very accepting city here."

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He shared a similar message with the crowd just moments before the performance, reflecting on how he would watch the CMA Awards "year after year, and I always thought how incredible it'd be and I'd dream of being here on this stage." Osborne, however, said "there were so many things that were so many hurdles for me. And I always truthfully felt like it would never be possible because of my sexuality to be here." He concluded, "I just wish, I wish, my younger me could see me now."