Nila is a freelance journalist and Clinical Psychology Doctoral student…
Indian-American actor Kal Penn is one of the very first South Asian faces in the mainstream media and the versatile star has taken on everything from television and film to the White House. The “American Desi” legend has just released a new book titled ‘You Can’t Be Serious’ where he shared some intimate details of his private life, including revealing his 11-year-relationship and engagement with his partner, Josh.
In an interview with People Magazine, he shared that he discovered his sexuality later in life and he feels that people are allowed to move on their own timeline to self-discovery. He also joked that after telling his Indian parents he wanted to be an actor, telling them of his sexuality was the easy part.
“I shared things with my parents and close friends first,” Penn said to People Magazine. “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.”
In the interview with People Kal Penn shared that he has “always been very public with everybody,” he’s interacted with but his partner, parents, and brother are all fairly private people.
“I’m really excited to share our relationship with readers,” Penn told People. “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.”
Penn’s wedding is now the talk of the town, he shared that he wants a big-fat-Indian wedding but his partner wants something small and quick so they are working to find a middle ground.
The news of Penn’s sexuality has created waves in the South Asian community as many LGBTQ+ South Asians finally feel seen and represented. The accomplished actor has won the hearts of millions over the years through his work, but finally being comfortable enough to share this news has won Penn a special place in all of our eyes. Being a brown man in the mainstream is difficult enough, and to do it as a gay brown man makes his accomplishments even more astounding.
Nila is a freelance journalist and Clinical Psychology Doctoral student who was born and raised in New York City. There is very little she loves more than Harry Potter marathons, pizza, 90s Bollywood, bagels, falooda, and her family. She hopes to use her powers for good by spreading mental health awareness and positivity in the South Asian community through her love of writing.