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T.J. Osborne debated not taking his boyfriend to the CMA Awards.
The 36-year-old musician – who came out as gay in February – shared a kiss with his partner Abi Ventura when The Brothers Osborne were announced as winners of Vocal Duo of the Year at Wednesday’s (10.11.21) ceremony in Nashville, but he admitted he had been unsure whether to invite his partner along as he didn’t want to “make anyone uncomfortable”.
But although some of his “fears” had “sneaked up” about public perception, T.J. ultimately felt it would set a good example to take Abi with him.
He said: “I was like, ‘I hope this doesn’t make anyone uncomfortable, but this is how I feel.’ I love this person, and I want to be open in every way.
“Hopefully [it can] show people that they also don’t need to hide or alter themselves in any way.”
And the country star admitted his boyfriend also had reservations.
He said: “He was probably more nervous than anybody and he probably felt incredibly uncomfortable…
“He’s very, very sweet. He’s my boyfriend, [and] he is a cutie.”
Despite his reservations, T.J. admitted he ultimately felt “so accepted and loved by my peers” at the event.
When Brothers Osborne took to the stage to perform ‘Younger Me’, T.J. admitted to the audience he had never expected to be accepted in the country world because of his sexuality.
He said: “For many years I would watch this show, year after year, and I always thought how incredible it’d be and I’d dream of being here on this stage.
“And 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.
“And I just wish, I wish, my younger me could see me now.”