Ronen Rubinstein is living his truth. In an interview with Variety published Wednesday, the 9-1-1: Lone Star actor came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, telling the outlet. "I fully identify as bisexual." The actor said being out and proud "feels so good to talk about it, it feels so good to finally be comfortable with it."
Rubinstein explained that his role on 9-1-1: Lone Star, the series on which he stars as T.K. Strand, Rob Lowe's onscreen son who has a relationship with another, helped him embrace his sexuality, something he said has been "a journey." The actor said he kept this part of himself from the public in part due to "where I come from." He explained that "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."
"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," he said. "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."
Rubinstein credited his experience on 9-1-1: Lone Star, and particularly fans of his character's relationship with Carlos Reyes, as being "one of the biggest reasons" he "felt safe and comfortable to talk about" his sexuality and "finally embrace it and be happy about it." He also gave a nod to his girlfriend, Jessica Parker Kennedy, who he said "was actually one of the first people that sort of respectfully called me out on it." Recalling that moment, the actor said Kennedy was "like, 'Is there something we need to talk about?’'And I said, 'Maybe.'" Although he admitted he "didn't know how that conversation would go," Rubinstein said "it went probably as good as it can go" and he said his girlfriend has "definitely encouraged me to be vocal about it, just to live my truth."
Rubinstein said he hopes his decision to come out and live his truth will show people "that this is a hopeful and a happy story." He said he wants "people to know that they're not alone and it's definitely okay. Trust me, I know that it is not easy. My path has not been easy at all, but it's just one more thing that I can share with people to help them and let them know that I’m here for them."
After the interview was published, Rubinstein took to social media to share it, writing that "Every single day, you guys give me your all. You opened your Hearts & Souls to me. I now give you me, my full, true self." He thanked his fans and supporters "for giving me the courage. Thank you for always accepting me. Thank you for supporting me," and encouraged them to "continue being our complete selves. Let us continue fighting for what is Right. Let us continue Loving each other and Supporting each other." In a separate message, the actor said he was "reading your thousands of comments through tear filled eyes," adding that he is "honored to share this moment with you all."