Indian-American actor Kal Penn, known for his work in House, Designated Survivor, the Harold and Kumar film franchise, has come out gay. The actor also revealed that has been in a relationship with his partner Josh for 11 years and the couple is engaged.
In his new book You Can’t Be Serious, the actor shares the story of how he met his fiancé Josh and fell in love when Penn was living in Washington. “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,” Penn told PEOPLE tabloid. “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.”
“Figuring out the narrative [in the book], of how to respect who they really are, with telling my story — that includes: my work life, both in Hollywood and DC, it includes my love life with Josh and how we met, it includes my parents, to the extent that I’m willing to share stories about their upbringing,” he told the tabloid. “So that was the most important thing for me. I wanted my story to be authentic from my perspective and told in a way that makes you feel like you really get to know me.”
In his book You Can’t Be Serious, Penn talked about his first date with Josh and wrote, “I thought, ‘This obviously is not going to work out. 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.”
“I shared things with my parents and close friends first,” he told PEOPLE. “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. 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.”
Penn said, “I discovered my own sexuality relatively late in life compared to many other people. There’s no timeline on this stuff. People figure their s— out at different times in their lives, so I’m glad I did when I did.”
Kal Penn is happily prepping for his wedding. Meanwhile, his book will be available on November 2.
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