gay, interracial couple from New York City faced backlash after sharing a now-viral kiss during CNN’s New Year’s Eve special. 

Corin Christian and Jake Eriksson told Out magazine they were shocked at how much attention they received as people watched them share a kiss on CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen.

“I have a TikTok presence, so I woke up the next day and I’m like, ‘Jake, my phone is blowing up.’ I was so confused as to what was going on,” Christian told the magazine. “I’m going through [my phone], scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. I see the things on CNN. And I’m like, ‘Oh my God, this is crazy.’ We were literally the first thing that people saw in 2024.”

“It was a little sad to see some of the negative comments and how negatively [people] were affected by that, being forced to see two men kissing on live TV,” Eriksson explained.

Overall, though, Eriksson believes that people are just scared of things they don’t know, can’t understand, or feel insecure about.

“I lived in fear for so long,” he added. “I lived in shame, and I thought something was wrong with me. I thought I was going to hell, and I’m just not willing to live like that anymore. I’m happier when I treat people with love and kindness, regardless of how they identify and who they love.”

According to Christian, it was surprising to see so many people online who are afraid to come out to their loved ones.

“For me, it’s sad seeing the comments that I was getting. I’ve seen all the Reddit comments and I’m like, ‘People are really scared to open up to their families and parents because of what we did on live TV.’ And it’s just shocking to see that people are really devastated and scared to come out to their families,” Christian said.

While the couple received some negative comments, they also received praise from those who were proud to see people from the LGBTQ+ community featured on CNN’s New Year’s Eve special.

“At the end of the day, we’re still supported, and the positive outweighs the negative,” Christian said.

The pair’s love story began after meeting on the popular dating site Bumble six months ago.

While they both moved to New York City to follow their dreams, they also established what appears to be a lasting relationship with each other.