Harold & Kumar Star Kal Penn Comes Out as Gay

Kal Penn, once one of People’s most eligible bachelors, is off the market.

The 44-year-old actor, known for his roles in “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle,” “House” and “Designated Survivor,” opened up about his 11-year relationship with and subsequent engagement to his partner, Josh — which might surprise some of those People magazine readers. (For the sake of privacy, he has not revealed Josh’s last name.)

Penn came out and announced his engagement to his long time partner of 11 years Jay.

In his book “You Cant Be Serious”, he tells the story of how his long-term relationship came to be, starting with a first date that included an 18-pack of beer. 

In an interview by People published Sunday, he said “I discovered my own sexuality relatively late in life compared to many other people.” Penn added that “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.”

Penn and Josh were snapped at a Knicks game in November of 2017
Penn and Josh together at a Knicks game in November of 2017 

Penn said he met Josh during his two-year stint working in the White House as an associate director during the Obama administration, a job he began in 2009.

In this book, he writes, ‘I thought, “This obviously is not going to work out.”‘ He also writes that ‘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.’

Although he revealed personal details throughout the book, he said that his partner and family members are private, and so he protects their identities. 

Even though Penn is now opening up on his relationship with Josh or his sexuality he hasn’t exactly hidden them either. In June, he posted a photo of him and four other men during Pride in New York City, with the caption, “A very fun NYC Sunday. Happy Pride y’all!”

He told People, ‘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 said he discovered his sexuality “relatively late in life” and he was “fortunate” to be “supported by everyone”.

“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,” he said.

His new book is full of stories like this one, the Penn told the publication.

He said the whole point of You Can’t Be Serious, was for the reader to feel like they’re getting a beer with Penn.

“I want to take you into my stories and I want you to experience them with the same joy that I’ve experienced them,” the Penn said, adding, “That was the way that my friends have met my parents and Josh.”

When asked how his people reacted to the actors coming out as gay, the actor joked: “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.”

However, his new book does not focus on just his love life, it also covers Penn’s career in Hollywood and his parents “to the extent that I’m willing to share stories about their upbringing”, the Penn said.