Ronen Rubinstein Announces He Is Bisexual, Says 9-1-1: Lone Star Role Helped Him Embrace His Sexuality
Ronen Rubinstein is out and proud!
The 9-1-1: Lone Star actor, 27, opened up about his sexuality in an interview with Variety published Wednesday, revealing that he identifies as bisexual.
"I fully identify as bisexual," he told the outlet. "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 Lone Star character T.K. Strand, who is Rob Lowe's character's son on the show, has a relationship with another man on the show, and the actor said the experience helped him come to terms with his own sexuality.
"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 told Variety, referring to the ship name fans have given to T.K.'s relationship with 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," he recounted of one of the couple's steamier scenes.
"It's super hot, and it just goes on. It just doesn't stop. We're, like, crashing against the walls, and then we end up on the couch," he added. "I warned my parents and my friends for months. I said, '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.' "
Rubinstein explained that members of the LGBTQ community are "just not welcomed" where he's from.
"It's as brutally honest as that," he said. "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 added. "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."
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
In addition to his work on Lone Star, Rubinstein's girlfriend Jessica Parker Kennedy has been a big supporter of him embracing his sexuality, he told Variety.
"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,' " he said of Kennedy.
Rubinstein shared the Variety article on Instagram Wednesday along with a message to his fans in the caption.
"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 wrote. "Thank you for giving me the Courage. Thank you for always Accepting me. Thank you for Supporting me."
The actor added: "Let us continue being our complete selves. Let us continue fighting for what is Right. Let us continue Loving each other and Supporting each other. Thank you. I Love You. - Ro"
Rubinstein added to Variety that he decided to publicly come out with the intention of giving hope to queer youth.
"I want people to know that they're not alone and it's definitely okay. Trust me, I know that it is not easy," he said. "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."