Memoirs of filmmaker Onir, I’m Honor, and I’m Gay (Viking, an imprint of Penguin, 2022) — written with his sister Irene Dhar Malik, a National Award-winning film editor and screenwriter — is out. On a Zoom call, he says he wrote the book because growing up he “had no reference point”; Even today, “there aren’t too many books from someone without shame, out there and full of pride”.
Divided into four parts, it not only takes you through his childhood years – a time when he felt extremely shy and overly conscious about the color of his skin – but also narrates a rewarding gay life. Who has experienced hardships, triumphs and heartbreak in equal measure.
When I ask why he chose the title, noting that his sexuality is “not the all-too-defining factor”, he shares that “for someone who is probably closed off or struggling with his identity, It may be empowering to claim a book to be queer proudly” but for Onir, it was also about “creating an identity that people thought he would withhold”.