Kal Penn Comes Out, Announcing Engagement To Longtime Partner

In a recent interview, actor Kal Penn shared that he’s gay and is happily engaged to his longtime partner, Josh.

The actor and former White House staffer has a new memoir, “You Can’t Be Serious,” scheduled for a Nov. 2 release. He sat down with People to discuss the book and share the news about his engagement before the book’s release.

In the book, Penn opens up about his relationship with Josh, his partner of 11 years. This is the first time he publicly revealed such personal details.

“I’m really excited to share our relationship with readers,” Penn said to People. “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.”

Penn, who first rose to fame in the “Harold and Kumar” movie franchise, went on to have other prominent roles in TV shows such as “House,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Designated Survivor.” In 2019, he debuted his own television comedy, “Sunnyside,” which explored themes related to immigration.

Now, he embarks on a press tour for his new book. On Oct. 31, Penn expressed his excitement about the book launch on Twitter.

The actor took a break from Hollywood starting in 2009 to work in the Obama administration as the associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. It was during this time that he and Josh started dating, Penn revealed in his book. The pair met while living in Washington D.C. and Penn said their first date didn’t go as expected.

Penn explained that Josh showed up with beer and wanted to watch NASCAR.

“I thought, ‘This obviously is not going to work out,'” Penn told People. “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.”

Penn also explained that he discovered his sexuality as he grew older.

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

Penn did not share a wedding date but said he and Josh are working out all the plans and striving for a compromise.

“The big disagreement now is whether it’s a huge wedding or a tiny wedding,” Penn said. “I want the big-ass Indian wedding. Josh hates attention, [has said], ‘Or we could do just a quick 20-minute thing with our families and that’s it.’ So we have to meet halfway in the middle.”