Everything you need to know about Fire Island star Joel Kim Booster

Joel Kim Booster in a jacket with purple faces and red lips. The background is hazy pink and blue.

Actor and comedian Joel Kim Booster is a name you should know.

The 35-year-old Korean-American has been making waves in the worlds of comedy, film, and TV and bringing LGBTQ+ stories to the forefront while doing it. 

Joel Kim Booster’s movies and TV shows

Booster got his start in web series and as a stand-up comedian but his mainstream breakthrough was with the 2022 gay romantic comedy Fire Island.

Booster starred in the film as Noah, a gay man who takes an annual trip with his queer best friends to Fire Island Pines for sex, sun, and salutations. 

The film, which Booster also wrote and also produced, is a contemporary adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice

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Joel Kim Booster in Fire Island
Joel Kim Booster in Fire Island. (Searchlight Pictures)

Alongside Fire Island, Booster has appeared in Shrill, Search Party, and Sunnyside.

He also has writing and co-producer credits on Big Mouth and The Other Two.

What is Joel Kim Booster’s sexuality?

Booster has repeatedly written and starred in works where LGBTQ+ subjects and characters are at the core of the production. 

“I literally knew I was gay before I knew I was Asian,” Booster shared with Vulture in 2017.

He explained that he was adopted as a baby by white, conservative, religious Midwesterners and went through a “tumultuous” coming out. 

Booster notes that he hasn’t spoken to his parents about his sexuality.

“We have not broached my sexuality ― even in the most oblique terms. We are all on eggshells,” he shared with HuffPost.

He added: “My parents might not come to my wedding… “I don’t need that sort of acceptance from them. It just looks a little different to have a healthy relationship for us.”

John-Michael Sudsina and Joel Kim Booster at the Emmy Awards.
John-Michael Sudsina and Joel Kim Booster at the Emmy Awards. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Does Joel Kim Booster have a boyfriend?

Booster is dating John-Michael Kelly, a senior creative game producer who works at Riot Games.

The pair have been dating for several years and recently appeared together on the 2024 Emmy Awards red carpet.

The couple smooched in front of the cameras while wearing complimenting tuxes.

Bowen Yang and Joel Kim Booster posing at a film premiere.
Bowen Yang and Joel Kim Booster starred together in Fire Island. (Monica Schipper/WireImage)

Joel Kim Booster’s relationship with Bowen Yang

Booster and Bowen Yang are both Asian American comedians that are at the top of their game.

Yang, known for appearing on Saturday Night Live, also starred in Fire Island, opposite Booster, as close friend Howie.

However, in December, the pair called out media outlets for racism after they had repeatedly been confused with one another. 

On Yang’s podcast Las Culturistas with co-host Matt Rogers, Yang called out The Hollywood Reporter for confusing him with Booster in an article.

“Hollywood Reporter (are) still confusing me and Joel Kim Booster in an article about this whole Juliana Margulies thing. An article that is reporting on racism,” Yang said. 

Matt Rogers also accused Margulies’ comments of being racist, homophobic and transphobic, and Yang agreed.

Booster also responded to the situation on X, posting: “Y’all. Isn’t it your literal job to tell people in my industry apart???”

“Please use my preferred credit, Saturday Night Live Comedian’s Friend!!”

Booster also pointed out this was the second time that the outlet had confused him and Yang.