TJ Osborne Kisses Boyfriend After CMAs Win 9 Months After Coming Out: 'Love Wins Tonight'

Brothers Osborne, comprised of siblings John and TJ Osborne, won vocal duo of the year at the 2021 CMA Awards

Brothers Osborne took home the prize for vocal duo of the year at the 2021 CMA Awards on Wednesday — and had their nearest and dearest on hand to help them bask in their win.

TJ Osborne, 36, celebrated before accepting the award by kissing his boyfriend Abi Ventura, while John Osborne, 39, shared a smooch with wife Lucie Silvas.

The moment was a milestone one for TJ, who publicly came out as gay in February.

"It's been a crazy roller coaster of a year for us in so many ways, especially for me emotionally," TJ said as he accepted his prize. "And to have you all support me, it really does feel like love wins tonight. Thank you."

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TJ Osborne. ABC

As TJ exited the stage to a standing ovation, John chimed in to heap praise on both his brother and country music: "Give this boy a round of applause. We love this genre, we love the people, we love all of you so much."

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Brothers Osborne. abc

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Backstage after the show, TJ told PEOPLE that he never anticipated the love he's received since coming out.

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"When I came out, I did not know how that would be received," he said. "After [I did], there was a lot of positive people giving me support and loving me. And then there was a part, like, 'What does that mean? Does that turn into the pat on the back and see you later?'"

"So to go up there tonight and to actually see people truly and meaningfully invest in who we are and support what we're doing and what we're about, I thought, 'Okay, this is not just a friendly "I love you" text, this is people really wanting to pick us up, lift us up and carry us on,'" he continued. "Something very positive happened tonight, and it was so wonderful to experience that."

Check out PEOPLE's full CMA Awards coverage to get the latest news on country's biggest night.

Brothers Osborne performed their song "Younger Me" at the CMA Awards, which TJ wrote about his experience coming to terms with his sexuality.

"This is an important message that I wish I could tell my younger self," TJ told the Associated Press. "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."

brothers osborne
Brothers Osborne. John Shearer/Getty

The Maryland native added, "The biggest thing that bothered me 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."

The CMA Awards, hosted by Luke Bryan, are broadcasting live from Nashville on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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