Actor Ronen Rubinstein, who plays Rob Lowe’s gay son on Fox TV’s 9-1-1: Lone Star, has come out as bisexual in an interview with Variety.

“I fully identify as bisexual,” Rubinstein said in a Zoom chat with Marc Malkin. “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, 27, comes from Staten Island.

“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 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. 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.”

He says that playing a gay role on 9-1-1, co-created by producer Ryan Murphy, encouraged him to come out.

His character, T.K. Strand, had a steamy make-out scene with another cop, Carlos Reyes (played by gay actor Rafael L. Silva), and they became boyfriends. Rubinstein said he was initially worried about how some of his family and friends would react to him filming a love scene with another man. However, the romance was well received by viewers, with fans of the show quickly naming the fictional couple ‘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,” said Rubinstein.

In real life, Rubinstein has a girlfriend, Jessica Parker Kennedy. He says she questioned him about whether he was holding something back from her in relation to his sexuality.

“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.’”

Related: BMX pro Corey Walsh comes out as gay

He says he wanted to come out to help other young queer people who may be struggling.

“I want people to know that they’re not alone and it’s definitely okay.”

On Instagram, Rubinstein posted an image of the interview with 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. Thank you for giving me the Courage. Thank you for always Accepting me. Thank you for Supporting me. 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.”

Related: Country star TJ Osborne comes out in emotional new interview

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