Out and proud! 9-1-1: Lone Star actor Ronen Rubinstein has come out as bisexual.
"I fully identify as bisexual," the 27-year-old told Variety. "I literally just got goosebumps saying that. It feels so good to talk about it, it feels so good to finally be comfortable with it."
Rubinstein’s girlfriend, Jessica Parker Kennedy, is the one who encouraged him to embrace his sexuality and the revelation did not change their relationship dynamic except for a few jokes. "She just sometimes jokes, 'Just don’t leave me for Harry Styles,'" Rubinstein shared.
"She’s actually one of the first people that sort of respectfully called me out on it," Rubinstein gushed. "She’s like, 'Is there something we need to talk about?' And I said, 'Maybe.' I didn’t know how that conversation would go. And it went probably as good as it can go."
"She definitely encouraged me to be vocal about it, just to live my truth. She’s like, 'I love you for who you are, your full self and people will love you for who you are and your full self.'"
"The biggest thing for me is, where I come from, it’s like, people like me and people who have identified as bisexual or gay or as any part of the community — you’re just not welcomed. It’s as brutally honest as that," Rubinstein said as he was born in Israel and moved to Staten Island when he was five, but did not specify where in particular he was talking about.
"It’s either you faced insane amounts of profanity, like the F-word was thrown around all the time, or you would get your ass kicked if you were gay."
"So there was definitely a fear of sort of embracing how I felt," he explained. "I was definitely more aware of it in high school. I was aware of my feelings and how I started looking at men, but I couldn’t talk to anybody about it."
It was his work as an actor that helped Rubinstein come to terms with his sexuality, as fans were so supportive of his 9-1-1: Lone Star character's same-sex relationship, but he was nervous about how his family and friends might have reacted to the role.
"The fans, especially the Tarlos [T.K Strand and Carlos Reynes' couple name] fans, it’s one of the biggest reasons that I finally felt safe and comfortable to talk about it and to finally embrace it and be happy about it," Rubinstein explained.
"Reading your thousands of comments through tear filled eyes. Only seeing Love & Support. I’m not surprised, because you guys are truly #TheBestFansInTheWorld I’m honored to share this moment with you all. I Love You. THANK YOU," he gushed after the news broke.
"Congrats on living your life authentically and embracing yourself. I recently came out a few weeks ago so I know it can be scary but I'm proud of you," one fan replied.
"You and Rafa [Rafael Silva] have created such an amazing community for #Tarlos fans, a place where everyone is accepted no matter what. We love you," another responded.
"Always and forever!! So proud and happy for you, you're such a role model for so many people and thank you for that!! And you're so valid!!" a third said.