9-1-1: Lone Star: Actor Ronen Rubinstein Comes Out as Bisexual

‘9-1-1: Lone Star’ Actor Ronen Rubinstein Comes Out as Bisexual

He told them he was playing Rob Lowe’s gay son on the Fox procedural, but he wasn’t sure what they’d think of the very steamy encounter between his character, T.K. Strand, and his future police officer boyfriend Carlos Reyes, played by openly gay actor 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 says. “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. 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.’ ”

It didn’t matter what they thought because T.K. and Carlos were a hit. As soon as clips of the scene were released, fans of the drama series, produced by Ryan Murphy, crowned the couple “Tarlos.”

The series was fiction, but there was something real happening for Rubinstein. The actor, who’s 27, came to terms with and accepted feelings he had suppressed.

“I fully identify as bisexual,” Rubinstein says. “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 called his sexual awakening “a journey,” enabled by his work as an actor.

“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 says. “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.”

Lazy loaded image
Michael Buckner/Variety

“The fans, especially the Tarlos fans, are 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 says.

For support, he’s turned to “9-1-1” co-creator Murphy, Silva and his girlfriend Jessica Parker Kennedy.

“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.’”