- The disclosure comes ahead of the release of his memoir which gives details of his relationship as well a look into his unusual career path.
Kal Penn, who kept his sexuality under wraps for years, has finally come out. In an interview with “CBS Sunday Morning” and a subsequent interview with People magazine Oct. 31, the 44-year-old Indian American actor, college instructor, and former White House staffer, revealed that he is engaged to his partner for over a decade.
In the interview, ahead of the Nov. 2 release of his memoir, “You Can’t Be Serious,” Penn told People that he met and fell in love with Josh, his fiancé, when he was living in Washington D.C., and working in the Obama administration. “I discovered my own sexuality relatively late in life compared to many other people,” Penn told People. “There’s no timeline on this stuff. People figure their s**t out at different times in their lives, so I’m glad I did when I did.”
He further told People that he’s always been “very public” with everybody he has 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 said. “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.”
In the CBS interview, Penn disclosed that he and Josh just celebrated their 11th anniversary this month.
According to publishing company Simon & Schuster, Penn’s memoir is “a story about struggle, triumph, and learning how to keep your head up,” adding that “Kal demonstrates by example that no matter who you are and where you come from, you have many more choices than those presented to you.”
Along with telling his life’s journey so far, Simon & Schuster says Penn “pulls back the curtain on the nuances of opportunity and racism in the entertainment industry and recounts how he built allies, found encouragement, and dealt with early reminders that he might never fit in.” And he reveals how, “after a decade and a half of fighting for and enjoying successes in Hollywood, he made the terrifying but rewarding decision to take a sabbatical from a fulfilling acting career for an opportunity to serve his country as a White House aide.”
Penn told People that “the whole point of writing this book was for the reader to feel like we’re having a beer together. He then wants to take the readers “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.”
The Indian American became a household name after starring in“Harold and Kumar” films and as a sports medicine doctor on the hit TV show “House.” His “House” his cast-mate Olivia Wilde invited him to be her +1 at a campaign event for then-Sen. Barack Obama. he New Jersey native has worked as an associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, where he was President Obama’s Liaison to Young Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the Arts communities in America.
He has also served as an Adjunct Lecturer in Sociology and Film Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and in Sociology and Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles.
He has played leading roles in some of the most-watched television shows, including “How I Met Your Mother,” “24,” “Designated Survivor,” “House,” among others. He currently stars in the CBS series “Clarice,” a sequel to “Silence of the Lambs,” and the Disney Junior animated series “Mira, Royal Detective.” He was also the co-creator and star of the NBC/Universal comedy “Sunnyside,” and host, co-creator, and executive producer of a six-episode series in October 2020 for Disney’s Freeform Channel called “Kal Penn Approves This Message,” aimed at entertaining and informing young voters.
On the big screen, Penn has starred in movies that have collectively grossed more than a billion dollars, including the Harold and Kumar franchise, “National Lampoon’s Van Wilder,” “Superman Returns,” “The Namesake,” among others.