Kal Penn Comes Out as Gay and Reveals Engagement—'No Timeline on This Stuff'

Actor Kal Penn has revealed he's been in a same-sex relationship for the past 11 years with his partner, Josh, and that they're now engaged.

The House star, 44, shares the story of how he and Josh met in his new book, You Can't Be Serious—set to be released on Tuesday—with the pair meeting as Penn worked in former President Barack Obama's administration.

Penn, who was employed in the White House's public engagement office for more than two years, has told People about his decision to publicly share his relationship.

"I've always been very public with everybody I've personally interacted with," said Penn. "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."

The New Jersey native also addressed coming to terms with his sexuality, saying: "I discovered my own sexuality relatively late in life compared to many other people. 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."

In his book, Penn has recounted in his book that the couple's first date left much to desired, when Josh arrived at his Washington, D.C., apartment bearing an 18-pack of beer and switched TV so that he could watch NASCAR.

"I thought, 'This obviously is not going to work out," he said. "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. I'm like, 'What is happening?' I wanted the reader to enjoy the love and the humor through all of those stories."

Kal Penn and his partner Josh
Kal Penn and his partner, Josh, attend Los Angeles Clippers v New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on March 24, 2019, in New York City. Penn has revealed that he and Josh have been in a relationship for 11 years and are engaged. James Devaney/Getty Images

"The whole point of writing this book was for the reader to feel like we're having a beer together," Penn continued. "I thought, if we're supposed to feel like we're having a beer together, then I want to take you 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 Designated Survivor star also opened up about the support he has received from his family regarding his relationship with Josh.

"I shared things with my parents and close friends first," he said. "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."

While he's enjoying all of the support, Penn has admitted that there is one point of contention between the couple when it comes to their wedding plans.

He said: "Obviously I am engaged to a man and our families will be there for the wedding. The big disagreement now is whether it's a huge wedding or a tiny wedding.

"I want the big ass Indian wedding. Josh, hates attention, [has said], 'Or we could just do quick 20-minute thing with our families and that's it.' So we have to meet halfway in the middle."

Actor Kal Penn
Kal Penn and Josh attend the game between the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Clippers at Madison Square Garden on November 20, 2017, in New York City. Elsa/Getty Images