Kal Penn: who is House actor’s partner Josh, when did they get engaged and what did he say about being gay?

The actor is known for his roles in TV shows including How I Met Your Mother and films like Harold and Kumar

Hollywood actor Kal Penn has recently announced that he is gay and is currently planning a wedding with his partner of 11 years.

The news comes as Penn prepares for the release of his new book, You Can’t Be Serious, which covers details of his personal life, including his previously very private relationship.

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This is everything you need to know.

Who is Kal Penn - and what has he been in?

Kal Penn, whose real name is Kalpen Suresh Modi, is an American actor and former White House staff member with the Barack Obama administration.

He was born on 23 April 1977 in New Jersey to father Suresh Modi and mother Asmita Bhatt. He grew up attending Marlboro Middle School and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2000 with a double major in film and sociology.

His two most recognisable roles include that of Kumar Patel in the Harold & Kumar films, and as Dr Lawrence Kutner in medical drama House M.D.

John Cho and Kal Penn arrive to the premiere of A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, 2011 (Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

You may also recognise Penn from appearances in the likes of Designated Survivor, Sunnyside, The Big Bang Theory, Deadbeat, How I Met Your Mother, 24 and New Girl.

Outside of his acting and political career, Penn also served as a visiting lecturer in Asian American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in 2008, and in 2014 he worked on a graduate certificate in international security from Stanford University.

When did he come out?

Appearing on CBS Sunday Morning discussing his new book, You Can’t Be Serious, Penn announced his engagement and in the process, came out as gay.

He said: “I mean, you know, Josh and I have been together for 11 years. We had our 11th anniversary in October.”

In an exclusive interview with People, Pen said: “I discovered my own sexuality late in life compared to many other 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.”

Speaking about his partner and their first date, Penn said that Josh arrived at his apartment with an 18 pack of Coors Light beer and immediately changed the TV over to NASCAR.

Kal Penn is about to release a new book, called You Can’t Be Serious (Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Penn said: “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 months and we’re watching NASCAR every Sunday. I’m like, “What is happening?”.”

In regards to the reaction from his family and friends when he came out, Penn said that he “felt very supported by everyone” and that “everybody has different experiences with that and so I definitely feel very fortunate”.

Discussing the decision to make his private life public, Penn said he wanted to be transparent and truthful in You Can’t Be Serious.

He said: “I’ve always been very public with everybody I’ve personally interacted with. Whether it’s somebody I meet at a bar, if Josh and I are out or we’re talking to friends.

“I’m really excited to share our relationships 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.”

Who is Josh?

Details about Josh have been kept extremely private, with not even a last name revealed.

Penn also hasn’t shared many photos of himself and Josh on social media either, however he did appear in an Instagram post from Penn earlier this year on 27 June during Pride in New York.

In the caption, Penn wrote: “A very fun NYC Sunday. Happy Pride y’all!”

It’s also unknown as to when they got engaged, but they have been together for over 11 years.

When is he getting married?

While Penn revealed that he and Josh are currently planning their wedding, no date for the big day has been revealed.

He said: “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, [and has said], “Or we could just do a quick 20 minute thing with our families and that’s it.” So we have to meet halfway in the middle.”

What is You Can’t Be Serious about?

You Can’t Be Serious is a memoir recounting the events of Penn’s varied life.

As well as telling stories about his personal life and acting career, it also covers his time as a political advisor for Barack Obama.

In 2009, he was offered the role of Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, which was the reason behind his character on House getting written out.

Barack Obama and Kal Penn before a State Dinner at Rashtrapati Bhawan (Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Penn said: “The whole point of writing this book was for the reader to feel like we’re having a beer together.

“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’s the way my friends have met my parents and Josh, as they’ve gotten to know them over the last 10 years.”

In the UK, You Can’t Be Serious is available for pre-order and will be released on 9 December.

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