Good for Ronen Rubinstein (and his LGBTQ fans).
The 9-1-1: Lone Star actor recently came out as bisexual, and says that his girlfriend and his gay role helped him to realize this.
“I fully identify as bisexual,” the 27-year-old actor said in an interview with 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.”
The Staten Island native then added that his biggest fear in coming out was that he wouldn’t be accepted by the community that raised him.
“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,” he confessed.
The actor then added, “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. 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.”
So, what did make him want to come out? Again, part of it was his gay character on the Ryan Murphy produced show. In 9-1-1: Lone Star, Rubinstein plays TK Strand. Strand is a gay paramedic whose father is firefighter Rob Lowe. In the show, Strand starts a relationship with another cop named Carlos Reyes (played by Rafael L. Silva).
“Carlos and I have a huge make-out scene where we, like, burst through the door, and we’re ripping our clothes off,” Rubinstein explained. Rubinstein says he warned his family about the scene before is aired on tv. He told them, “Listen, I understand if you guys don’t want to watch it, I understand you probably might say some really ignorant, close-minded stuff or you just might not want to watch it and I get that too.”
Thankfully, fans warmly accepted the couple and even gave them the couple name Tarlos.
“The fans, especially the Tarlos 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,” he said.
In addition, Rubinstein says talking to his girlfriend, Jessica Parker Kennedy, helped him to accept his bisexuality.
“She’s actually one of the first people that sort of respectfully called me out on it,” Rubinstein said. “She’s like, ‘Is there something we need to talk about?’ And I said, ‘Maybe.’”
“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.’”
Now, Ronen Rubinstein is hoping to be an example for queer youth from his hometown and across the globe. And we thank him for that.