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Harold and Kumar’s Kal Penn comes out publicly as gay and announces engagement

The actor says he's felt "very supported" by his family.

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Instagram/@kalpenn

Actor Kal Penn has come out publicly as gay and also announced that he is engaged to his boyfriend of eleven years.

The 44-year-old, known for his roles in Harold and Kumar and House, reveals the details of his first date with his partner, Josh, in his new book You Can’t Be Serious.

Kal says he discovered his sexuality “late in life” but says “there’s no timeline on this stuff,” and he’s glad he’s done it.

“I felt very supported by everyone.”

In the book Kal documents meeting Josh, which he did while working for President Obama at the White House.

Speaking to People magazine ahead of the book’s release today (2 November), Penn said he didn’t think it was going to work after his future partner arrived at his apartment with beer and instantly switched the TV on to watch some US car racing.

He told People: “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 of months and we’re watching NASCAR every Sunday. I’m like, ‘What is happening?'”

The actor and former White House employee said he’s “grateful” for all the support he’s had from his family and friends in regard to his relationship with Josh.

“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.”

The Attitude Awards issue is out now.

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