Kal Penn formally comes out and announces engagement

(Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Ah we love to see it! 


Harold & Kumar star and former White House staffer Kal Penn has spoken publicly for the first time about being gay, along with announcing his 11-year relationship with partner Josh, to whom he is engaged.


While Penn never explicitly hid his identity, and was out to many people in his personal life, it’s not something he discussed publicly… until now. 


The open revelation came ahead of the release of his tell-all book, You Can’t Be Serious, of which Penn says “I’m really excited to share our relationship with readers.”


Harold & Kumar


In the book he shares the story of how he and Josh met and fell in love when Penn was living in Washington D.C. Speaking to People, he said he wanted to be transparent and truthful in his book, without compromising the privacy of his loved ones.


“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,” he said, “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.”


Discussing the writing process, Penn said: “Figuring out the narrative [of 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 explained.


“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 the book, Penn also shares what coming out was like for him: “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.”


He continued: “They’re just like, ‘Yeah, okay.’ … That’s a wonderful thing. I know everybody has different experiences with that and so I definitely feel very fortunate.”


In 2009, Penn took a hiatus from acting to serve in the President Barack Obama’s administration as part of the White House Office of Public Liaison, dealing with Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and the arts community.


You Can’t Be Serious is available from November 2.