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Couple Who Sparked Outrage With New Year's Eve Kiss On CNN Speak Out About The Negativity

Jake Eriksson and Corin Christian are speaking out about the backlash their New Year's Eve kiss received after it was televised by CNN.

Screenshot of Corin Christian and Jake Eriksson

Jake Eriksson and Corin Christian found themselves in the spotlight after their passionate New Year's Eve kiss in New York City's Times Square was aired on CNN, sparking both celebration and a wave of homophobic backlash.

As the world rang in 2024, Eriksson and Christian shared a tender moment, a symbol of love and joy among the throngs gathered in Times Square. Their embrace, broadcast across various television networks and widely circulated on social media, became a powerful image of unfiltered LGBTQ+ affection.

While the LGBTQ+ community embraced the display of love, homophobic conservatives lashed out and condemned the romantic moment. Outrage and baseless claims circulated, with some labeling the affectionate display as staged or part of an agenda to disrupt conservative values.

In an exclusive interview with PinkNews, the couple expressed their awe at the attention their kiss received and hoped it would leave a positive impact on the LGBTQ+ community as a whole.

Eriksson called hate and and anger "secondary emotions," adding:

“I had the amazing opportunity to share a New Year’s kiss with my partner in front of the whole world. We appreciate the positive feedback we received and hope that our experience can inspire youth to always be themselves.”
“People are afraid of what they don’t understand. If people feel hatred toward homosexuality, it is not necessarily their own fault. We don’t get to choose how we are raised but we can choose how we treat others and hope to educate future generations.”

Christian, a model and entrepreneur, echoed his partner's sentiments, unruffled by the negativity:

“At the end of the day, me and my partner are happy and in love, no matter where the backlash comes from.”
“Be who you are for your pride and know that you are not alone. To all the couples out there reading this, love your partner with everything you have because there’s nothing better than having comfort to fall back on when you need it.”

Eriksson, who grappled with his sexuality due to a conservative upbringing, shared his journey from shame and internal conflict to acceptance and pride. Overcoming addiction and embracing his passion for acting, he highlighted the importance of familial support in his transformation.

Noting he grew up in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was often “ashamed” of his sexuality, he said:

“I turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with my feelings of confusion and impending doom. After years of suffering, and two suicide attempts, I got sober and decided that I would no longer live my life in fear, and decided to pursue my dream of becoming an actor."

Christian, on the other hand, emphasized the significance of parental acceptance, urging caregivers to love their children unconditionally, irrespective of their understanding of their child's identity:

“It’s OK to love your child unconditionally whether you understand it or not. There is nothing in the world worse than living your life in fear every day.”

Many praised the couple for their honesty and hit back at conservative criticisms.

Other nations joined the U.S. in celebrating the LGBTQ+ community at midnight on January 1.

Across the pond in the U.K., a vibrant rainbow-themed firework display set to the tunes of the Spice Girls illuminated London's skies, commemorating 10 years of same-sex marriage in England and Wales.

Following the UK’s midnight festivities, a memorable rendition of “Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” unfolded, delivered by Rick Astley and Rylan Clark, brimming with undeniable energy and chemistry.

There's no doubt that many LGBTQ+ teens watching at home felt seen and heard during these pivotal moments and that's much more important than conservative hand-wringing and hate mongering.