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Kal Penn comes out and announces engagement to partner of 11 years

"I'm really excited to share our relationship"

By Hollie Geraghty

A still of Kal Penn in a suit on the Jimmy Kimmel Show).
Kal Penn said he is "really excited" to share his relationship with readers in new book 'You Can't Be Serious'. (Photo: YouTube/ Jimmy Kimmel Live).

‘Harold & Kumar’ star Kal Penn has shared that he is gay and also announced his engagement to his long-term partner in a new book.

In a recent interview with People, the actor and former White House staff member for the Obama administration said he discovered his sexuality “relatively late in life”, and spoke about his engagement to partner of 11 years, Josh.

“There’s no timeline on this stuff. People figure their shit out at different times in their lives, so I’m glad I did when I did,” he said.

In his new book ‘You Can’t Be Serious’ the actor shares how he met his partner while living in Washington D.C. and his decision to share their relationship publicly.

“I’ve always been very public with everybody I’ve personally interacted with. Whether it’s somebody that I meet at a bar, if Josh and I are out or we’re talking to friends,” he said. 

“I’m really excited to share our relationship with readers. But Josh, my partner, my parents, and my brother, four people who I’m closest to in the family, are fairly quiet. They don’t love attention and shy away from the limelight.”

The actor also reflected on telling his close friends and family about the relationship for the first time. “I know this sounds jokey, but it’s true: When you’ve already told your Indian parents and the South Asian community that you intend to be an actor for a living, really any conversations that come after that are super easy,” he said. 

“They’re just like, ‘Yeah, okay.’ I felt very supported by everyone. That’s a wonderful thing. I know everybody has different experiences with that and so I definitely feel very fortunate.”

In the new book, Penn recalls his first date with Josh when he arrived at his apartment with an 18-pack of Coors Light and turned NASCAR on the TV.

“I thought, ‘This obviously is not going to work out,” he said. “I have one day off from The White House and this dude is unironically watching cars go around and make left turns? Next thing you know, it’s been a couple months and we’re watching NASCAR every Sunday. I’m like, ‘What is happening?’ I wanted the reader to enjoy the love and the humor through all of those stories.”

‘You Can’t Be Serious’ is out November 2.