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Kal Penn Opens Up About Why He Waited 11 Years Into Relationship To Come Out As Gay

Kal Penn Opens Up About Why He Waited 11 Years Into Relationship To Come Out As Gay

He announced he was gay and engaged to his boyfriend of 11 years last week

Claire Reid

Claire Reid

Kal Penn has opened up about why he waited 11 years into his relationship before coming out.

Last week, the Harold and Kumar star announced he was gay and engaged to his long-term partner Josh.

Now he's explained why he chose to keep his sexuality and relationship private for so long.

In a Reddit Ask Me Anything, Penn was asked if he had considered coming out publicly sooner, to which he replied: "I figured out my sexuality relatively late in life compared to many other people - I know there's no timeline on this kinda stuff, so I'm very happy that I did when I did!


"Josh and I have been together for 11 years and (like my parents) he doesn't love attention, so it was a tricky dance that I know many couples do, out of respect to their partners' privacy, on how much of their lives to share and when.

"In writing my book, I'm so excited to share lots of things I hadn't before, including - definitely - more about Josh, how we met (over an 18 pack of Coors Light and a NASCAR race), that we're engaged, and also more about my parents' background, how they grew up and came to America - the things that make up my unlikely life story."

In his new memoir, titled You Can't Be Serious, the actor-turned-White-House-official said: "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.

"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."

He goes on to say that his close friends and family have been supportive of his sexuality.

New Line Cinema

He wrote: "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."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: TV and Film, Celebrity, LGBTQ+