Kal Penn Says Friends More Shocked by His NASCAR Love Than His Coming Out

Kal Penn says he’s sharing his life story — including the fact he’s gay — to let others know that you can do anything while being true to yourself, like say … being a gay NASCAR fan.

We got the actor, politico and now author leaving 30 Rock Monday morning in NYC, and asked how his coming out over the weekend is being received in Hollywood and beyond.

Check out this chat we had … Kal says so far so good, and when our guy asks why he waited 11 years to share his truth — he cracks a hilarious joke, but then opens up.

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Kal explains his manager suggested he pen his adventures on and off camera — y’know, seeing how he went from a successful actor, getting tons of work … to a White House staffer working in the Obama administration. Obviously, he had good material.

On a philosophical level … KP tells us he’s coming out with all this now — including his relationship with fiance, Josh — in hopes of inspiring others to dream big, dare to do the impossible and push themselves.

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Kal even dishes on some deets from the book, including the tale of how he came to meet his partner … which entails an interesting tidbit about the “real revelation” here — the fact that he’s apparently super into NASCAR.

The dude is such a nice guy, proven in the fact that he gives our cameraman the copy of his book he was literally holding. It’s called ‘You Can’t Be Serious,’ and it’s out Tuesday.

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