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'Harold And Kumar' Star Kal Penn Comes Out And Reveals He's Engaged To Longtime Partner Josh

'Harold And Kumar' Star Kal Penn Comes Out And Reveals He's Engaged To Longtime Partner Josh
Rich Fury/VF20/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

Actor Kal Penn revealed he is gay and engaged to his longtime partner in his upcoming book, You Can't Be Serious.

Most fans are familiar with the 44-year-old actor's work in the Harold and Kumar film franchise and TV shows like House and Designated Survivor.

They also might remember Penn took a two-year break from acting to work in the White House under President Obama's Administration.

But what many people may not have known about his private life was the fact he had been in a relationship with his partner, Josh, for 11 years—which is a topic he openly discusses in his new book.

He discussed how, on their first date, Josh (whose last name was not released publicly) brought an 18-pack of Coors Light and turned on the TV to watch a NASCAR race.

Penn, who had been working in the West Wing as principal associate director in the Office of Public Engagement at the time, was apprehensive about his future with Josh.

"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've always been very public with everybody I've personally interacted with," continued Penn.

"Whether it's somebody that I meet at a bar, if Josh and I are out or we're talking to friends. I'm really excited to share our relationship with readers."

Penn had kept his relationship with Josh on the down-low out of respect for their families, citing "They don't love attention and shy away from the limelight."

The actor also took to Instagram to talk about how proud he is of the literary project he had been working on for four-and-a-half years.

"The whole point of writing this book was for the reader to feel like we're having a beer together," he said.

"I thought, if we're supposed to feel like we're having a beer together, then I want to take you into my stories and I want you to experience them with the same joy that I've experienced them."
"That was the way that my friends have met my parents and Josh, as they've gotten to know them over the last 10 years."

Penn continued:

"I shared things with my parents and close friends first. 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 he discovered his sexuality "relatively late in life compared to many other people," adding, "There's no timeline on this stuff. People figure their sh*t out at different times in their lives, so I'm glad I did when I did."

"I really hope that people enjoy the book. I hope it makes people laugh and smile."

Regarding their big day, Penn said he and Josh are not exactly on the same page.

"Obviously I am engaged to a man and our families will be there for the wedding. The big disagreement now is whether it's a huge wedding or a tiny wedding. I want the big a** Indian wedding."
"Josh, who hates attention, [has said], 'Or we could just do quick 20-minute thing with our families and that's it.' So we have to meet halfway in the middle."

You Can't Be Serious, will be available on November 2.