Kal Penn Comes Out, Reveals 11-Year Relationship
Kal Penn, a former White House adviser and actor known for roles in the TV series "House" and "Designated Survivor" as well as the hugely popular "Harold and Kumar" movies, announced his engagement to his longtime partner, Josh, on Sunday, October 31.
Penn, 44, detailed his journey toward coming out to People magazine ahead of the November 2 publication of his memoir, "You Can’t Be Serious." Penn said his privacy was for the sake of his loved ones, including his partner of 11 years, but he’s thrilled to finally go public about his sexuality.
"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," Penn told People. "They don't love attention and shy away from the limelight."
Penn’s parents, along with some close friends, were also the first people to whom he disclosed his sexuality, which he said gave him the confidence to live authentically.
"I shared things with my parents and close friends first," Penn said. "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."
The announcement was met with abundant support in his personal life, and Penn has no regrets about coming out.
"I discovered my own sexuality relatively late in life compared to many other people. There's no timeline on this stuff," Penn said. "People figure their s**t out at different times in their lives, so I'm glad I did when I did."
Penn added, "The big disagreement now is whether it's a huge wedding or a tiny wedding. I want the big-ass Indian wedding. Josh hates attention [and has said], 'Or we could just do a quick 20-minute thing with our families and that's it.' So we have to meet halfway in the middle."