The Groom Will Keep His Name

And Other Vows I've Made About Race, Resistance, and Romance


By Matt Ortile

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A riotous collection of “witty and captivating” essays by a gay Filipino immigrant in America who is learning that everything is about sex (Bitch Magazine) — and sex is about power.

When Matt Ortile moved from Manila to Las Vegas, the locals couldn’t pronounce his name. Harassed as a kid for his brown skin, accent, and femininity, he believed he could belong in America by marrying a white man and shedding his Filipino identity. This was the first myth he told himself. The Groom Will Keep His Name explores the various tales Ortile spun about what it means to be a Vassar Girl, an American Boy, and a Filipino immigrant in New York looking to build a home.

As we meet and mate, we tell stories about ourselves, revealing not just who we are, but who we want to be. Ortile recounts the relationships and whateverships that pushed him to confront his notions of sex, power, and the model minority myth. Whether swiping on Grindr, analyzing DMs, or cruising steam rooms, Ortile brings us on his journey toward radical self-love with intelligence, wit, and his heart on his sleeve.



AT FILIPINO WEDDINGS, the grooms wear white. The classical attire for men is an undyed shirt, with sleeves up to the wrists and fine embroidery down the front. It’s called a barong Tagalog, literally “Tagalog clothing.” Most versions are cut from piña, a sheer fabric woven from pineapple leaves; silk but make it tropical. Of course, the barong is not a groom’s only option. For five centuries, since our country was first colonized by empires, men in the Philippines have also worn the suit and tie—or, in the current Philippine parlance, the Americana.

Over the years, I’ve amassed a collection of suits in different colors, fabrics, and patterns. A suit can work anywhere, anyhow: with a turtleneck at the office, with sneakers at a bar, with a bow tie at a wedding. It’s also something of a sartorial feint. A crisp blazer signals to colleagues that, yes, I can absolutely lead this meeting, even hungover. A fresh suit gives my dates the impression I do have my life together, even though I could only afford an appetizer at dinner. Suits exude power. I wear Americana as armor.

So to take off a suit feels especially intimate. Whether in my bedroom or the bedrooms of other men, disrobing leaves me vulnerable, my body exposed without the eye-guiding seams of a well-tailored garment. But, just like armor, a suit’s component parts remain useful as separates. I once made good use of a tie and Theo’s bedposts, while Gareth knew exactly what to do with a leather belt. Equally romantic are the rituals of the thing. Stephen liked to fix my pocket squares, and Adam would take my jacket, drape it over my shoulders like a cape. He admired it, he once told me, my confidence when I wore a suit, how it made me untouchable.

Barong Tagalogs, in contrast, are translucent. Piña fabric is chiffony, like organza; all the better to catch a cool breeze in the Philippines’ humid climate in Southeast Asia. The garment evolved from precolonial clothing, as illustrated in the Manila Manuscript, a codex that dates to about 1590. It describes how local ethnic groups appeared to their Spanish colonizers. The manuscript says social status among natives was color-coded. For example, blue was the color of the nobility, while red was reserved for royalty.

I first saw these illustrations in a Wikipedia spiral about Filipino history. I’d just finished college and moved to New York, feeling untethered, particularly from my homeland. So I was ecstatic to learn about the manuscript, to see how vivid the ink and paint were still, even half a millennium later, digitized in a library archive. Here were my ancestors, catalogued like animals, but gallant nonetheless, draped in their silks and wielding their swords. How proud they looked, armed with jewelry and dripping in gold, opulent.

That was stolen from us. The Spaniards turned our various tribes, rajahnates, and kingdoms into a single colony, an appendix to their far-reaching empire. They brought their weapons, their own customs and class systems, and enforced them for over three hundred years. Unverified legends say that, under Spanish rule, men below the ruling class were forbidden from tucking their shirts into their trousers or wearing anything with pockets. This edict prevented Filipinos from stealing goods or cloaking weapons. Their Filipino clothing affirmed their status as subjects without agency.

There’s no proof of such an imperial decree. Historians have not found any law in colonial Philippines that forbade men from tucking, as it were. And contemporary photographs exist of tucked Filipino men. José Rizal, a writer and our national hero, is often pictured with his shirt in his trousers, wearing European clothing—including suit and tie. This Western dress came to be known as Americana when, after war with Spain, the United States took possession of the Philippines, where white men in power wore their suits and coats, roasting themselves in the equatorial sun.

But then again, lived experiences of discrimination don’t always find proof in official documents or laws, often scrubbed or never recorded. Whatever the truth, I like the reports of how Filipinos responded, allegedly decorating their barongs with bright colors—noble blue and royal red—an homage to precolonial ancestors to protest the Spanish social order. I’ve come to love this idea, redeeming Filipino clothing, the barong Tagalog as resistance.

The barong gained its status as the national costume after Philippine independence from the Americans at the end of World War II. In the 1950s, President Ramon Magsaysay wore a barong at all official and personal events, reframing the garment as a badge of honor. It has evolved with the times and the people: long-sleeved silhouettes as formal dress, short-sleeved versions as office wear. After centuries of dressing for others, my country reclaimed the barong Tagalog as a symbol of our developing identity outside the long shadows of empire.

I never wear it though. Occasions for Filipino formal wear are rare in my life in New York. Even in the Philippines, I’m more inclined to don a suit in a heat-friendly linen. I prefer the sharp creases of a tailored pant, the sleek shape of a suit jacket. The lines of a suit are in complete opposition to the classic barong Tagalog: where a blazer is tapered, the barong is loose; where a waistcoat is trim, the barong is long; where a suit is impenetrable, the barong is permeable. Since it’s see-through, you must wear an undershirt, which, to me, defeats the one exciting thing about the whole outfit. It’s just as well though, as piña fabric can be rough and scratchy.

The first time I wore a barong Tagalog, I was age three going on four, attending my uncle’s wedding. My barong was itchy, so I ran and cried to my mother. She put me in a chair next to her, at a faraway table, reserved for those who were considered exiles at this court. She wore a tan silk dress and pearls that day. I remember because there’s a picture of us, one of my favorites, one of the few I have left from the Philippines, before we immigrated to the United States. In it, she’s leaning down to press her cheek against mine, so I can throw a tiny arm around her neck. Years later, we’d re-create that photo in Las Vegas, where we’d moved to by then. In both versions, I’m biting my lip, slightly cross-eyed, and my mother is flashing her unshakeable picket fence of teeth.

My stepfather took the re-creation; his shutterbug habits came in handy when we applied for US citizenship. I’m not sure who took the original. It was likely one of my aunts, that cohort of women who knowingly took the Ortile name, who pledged allegiance to sisters first.

After the photo was taken at the wedding, I whined to my mother. I was itchy, sweaty, and upset; why was she sitting so far away from me and my father?

Her smile did not waver as she told me it was all right. My mother took off my barong, wedged a clean dinner napkin into the back of my undershirt, and sent me off to play. I returned to my cousins and we tossed pisos into the koi ponds, making wishes, as the adults danced their usual dances, pivoting around and away from each other. I never told anyone, but when I tossed my coins, I wished for my mother to be happy, to no longer move in these balletic adagios—graceful, though exhausted, feigning composure. I was eleven when she told me we were going to live in the United States, putting an ocean between her and my father. Wishes come true, I believed then, when you want them badly enough.

I keep that original photo of us—my mother in her pearls and me in my barong Tagalog—as a reminder of how far we’ve come from where we began, for better or for worse. It’s always with me, displayed in every bedroom I’ve ever had. In my early days with Stephen, when I’d just graduated college and moved to Manhattan, he picked up the photograph from my dresser. He noted how beautiful my mother was, that I’d inherited good genes.

He asked where she was. In the Philippines, I told him; she’d moved back to our birth country. As he undid my cufflinks for me, Stephen said, surprised, “Oh, I thought you were born here.” This, to me, was a compliment. I said “thank you” with a kiss.

The other reason I never wear a barong Tagalog is that I’ve been habituated to suppress all signs of where I come from: accent, language, cultural habits. If I appear seamlessly acculturated, it’s because I was diligent. I practiced my American accent in the bathroom mirror, rarely spoke Tagalog in public, and insisted on wearing my “outside clothes” at home. I grew up a run-of-the-mill immigrant, believing it gets better in America.

I fit in here, Christian once observed. We were at a table outside, summer in Harlem, before we went back to his place, before he peeled off my linen trousers and kindly placed them on a hanger. At brunch, I sipped rosé with bravado and an unchecked ID in my wallet. Christian brushed his leg against mine and told me, “You make this city seem easy.”

I was twenty years old, just shy of a decade into my American life and gratified by his words. That year, I was interning at a magazine with virtually no pay but halfway through my education at an elite college, which wrote me a blank check. I was digging tunnels up to a glossy life, working as hard as I did when I first arrived to make it seem impossible that I was once designated by the US government as a “permanent alien” in this land.

“You need to relax,” Adam said to me one night. I was tense, overworked. He was massaging my shoulders in the privacy of his dormitory before leaving me for his boyfriend, yet again. Adam removed my blazer and teased me, “We get it. You’re brilliant.”

At college, I had two majors, wrote two theses, earned double the honors at graduation. I was part of several student and faculty organizations, writing and dancing and extremely proficient in Google Docs. I applied for and won grants and prizes, decorated myself to the point of absurdity. In all aspects of my life, I did what I could to prove my merit. Take off the tailored suit purchased on credit, and you get an insecure kid who grew up in two countries, was bullied for being different in both, felt less-than for simply being himself.

Immigrating to the US at any age is difficult enough. Immigrating as a twelve-year-old, as I did, meant that middle schoolers, those so eagerly learning to brandish slurs with ease, were the peers I had to face. In Las Vegas, where we landed as new Filipino immigrants, I was target practice for everyone at school. To the white kids, I was a “wetback,” and to my fellow students of color, I was a “faggot.” Sometimes they called me both; there was one insult that involved me sucking dick, but the dick was a burrito. Though their hate lacked finesse, it was a powerful weapon, and they placed me in the crosshairs.

They were unable to name my Filipinoness. I was often mistaken for Mexican and once as “Arabian.” They landed on the more general but accurate Asian only rarely. Since they were correct about my undeniable flamboyance, I had to come out at thirteen. That didn’t stymie the bullying, but coming out early meant one less identity crisis for me to handle. I’d figured out I was gay in Manila; classmates at my Catholic all-boys school had figured it out as well, made it clear they knew my secret when they told me I was going to hell for being a sissy. In the Philippines, I’d already known what it meant to be a persecuted queer. In America, it took me a while to learn what it meant to be a Filipino—even longer to be both.

To dodge my middle school tormentors, I ate my lunch—usually rice and a slice of Spam—in classrooms, thanks to teachers who were kind, if confused by me. A guidance counselor placed me in ESL classes, assuming I needed them because of my accent. I transferred to honors English within a few days; at semester’s end, I was awarded top marks. Once, in another class, the teacher called on me to recite a passage from a book aloud. So I did, in my fresh-off-the-plane accent, which was only starting to unspool. When I finished, I looked up to see her smiling face, beatific and wrinkled. She asked me when I had moved to the US. A few months ago, I said.

“But your English is so wonderful!” she replied.

In the moment, all I could manage was, “Well, our primary language of instruction in the Philippines is English.” I felt my face grow hot. In the tense silence that followed, I excused myself to the bathroom. I stayed through recess, eating my lunch of Spam and rice in a toilet stall, determined to lose my Filipino accent as soon as I possibly could.

Add her to the list of many white adults who glowed at me with similar remarks. The silent implication was, I already knew, “for an immigrant.” Because I was raised as a brown kid in America, taught to not cause trouble, I tried to bite my tongue when they patronized me. I didn’t tell them that English language education in the Philippines was a vestige of their colonization of my country, after they won our archipelago of over seven thousand islands from Spain at the end of the Spanish-American War, which saw the rise of America’s empire, a colonial history that cast the United States as defender of a world order that, in truth, was exploited to further US imperialism.

Here was an early lesson in my education as a young queer and brown immigrant: our talents and abilities are diminished when seen in the context of one or many marginalized identities. When you’re in the minority, praise from the majority is too often laden with not-so-complimentary assumptions. It’s because of attitudes like this that we have to work twice as hard to get half as far—a feature, not a bug, of centuries-old systems of power.

And I did work hard, certainly. Hard enough to gain admittance into a performing arts high school. As a theater major, being out was in. My graduating class was a veritable Benetton ad, varied in race, class, and sexualities, united in gleeful aspirations to dramatic stardom. Difference and diversity were celebrated here, but still I remained, to them, nominally perplexing. In what would become a recurring theme in my life, everyone had trouble with the name Ortile.

Thanks for asking: it’s pronounced Or-TEE-lay. Sounds like how it looks—just like me. But intentionally or not, most people have corrupted my name ever since I could introduce myself. I have my favorite mispronunciations. In the Philippines, there was the accidental Or-tuli, which translates from Tagalog to “or-circumcised,” and the nickname my bullies gave me, Or-titi, which translates to “or-penis.” I was harassed, pranked and pantsed, passed over for teams in PE class. Only when the day’s sport was volleyball was I chosen, and my skills envied; something to do, I think, with the limp wrists.

In the US, white people would chop my name into a shortened Or-til, or go for the obvious phonetics: Or-tile, as if choosing between granite, marble, or tile. A colleague once overcompensated, pronounced it Or-till-yay, and stuck with it. I liked the way it sounded—French, but not really—so I didn’t say anything. I usually let these honest mistakes slide, rather than bear the exhaustion that came with correcting them. Though I was freed from the dick-related sobriquets to which my name lent itself in Tagalog, the harmless mispronunciations in the States could be equally embarrassing.

People sometimes made a show of my name’s difficulty: “You know what, I’m not even gonna try.” Even with those who meant well, their difficulty with my name made me feel guilty. I didn’t want to be a burden. Over time, with enough tears and dick jokes and stifled exasperation, my name grew to carry the weight of all that marked me as different: my queerness, my foreignness, the color of my voice and my skin. I wanted liberation from being Other, from being Ortile.

Some years into our life in Las Vegas, my mother divorced my father. She dropped Ortile and reclaimed her maiden name. Then she married my stepfather, who made his usual Pacific crossing for the big day. He was still living in Manila, where he met and fell in love with my mother, where he was caring for what’s now my extended family, where he is still a practicing surgeon in pediatrics. He’s good with kids and me. For the occasion, he offered to gift me a barong Tagalog. But their American wedding, I insisted, required American style. So, while my mother shopped for a gown and made an appointment at the MAC makeup counter, my stepfather and I browsed the rental tuxedos.

My mother and I hate the pictures from that day. The white makeup artist ineptly painted my Filipino mother a burnt shade of orange. And while my stepfather was the perfect gentleman in his tux, I looked like I’d just come from a regional choir competition in mine. At fourteen years old, I made for a precocious picture: a little boy in a man’s suit, giving a too-long toast in a hybridized transpacific accent. My parents humored me when I asked if we could have a do-over. They would get married two more times, in Filipino and Catholic ceremonies.

After the first wedding, I asked my mother if I could change my name, like she did. She laughed, and then again when I said I wanted to take my stepfather’s name. She leveled with me: with all the paperwork and the fact that even she didn’t take it—she kept her maiden name—it wouldn’t be worth it. Besides, she said, when I grew up, I would thank her for saying no.

As a kid, I swore fealty to my mother (and still do, for the most part). I never did anything without her permission—except once. At the mall one day, my mother gave me an hour and thirty dollars to buy clothes for my last year of middle school. Normally, I’d have gone straight to American Eagle or Abercrombie & Fitch, those Mom-approved purveyors of suburban prep. But I was crushing on a boy who wore eyeliner and listened to My Chemical Romance. I wanted him to like me; I wanted to be like him. So I went to Hot Topic. I got a studded belt with a bracelet to match.

My mother lost it when she saw what I’d bought—accessories that were “punkista,” as she called them—the most livid I’d ever seen her. It was a waste of money, she seethed, on our tight budget. Even though we were in public and, as was the credo in our family, forbidden from making a scene, she was so visibly furious, so terrifying, that I made one anyway. The choice was fight or flight, and I chose to flee my body. I fainted.

When I came to, I saw bystanders, a pair of mall cops, and my very embarrassed mother. The cops sat me down, told me to put my head between my legs, and asked my mother what happened. It was summer in Las Vegas, so she said I was dehydrated. We didn’t speak on the drive home, but she let me keep the punkista leather. I never wore it.

We laugh when we tell this story now. My mother attributes her reaction to menopause and her taste. She hated the counterculture aesthetic I attempted to try on. It was incongruent with her style—classic and elegant, all crisp linen and sleeveless turtlenecks—and mine too. My fashion choices at the time were best described as “Nantucket on a budget.” I’d dive into clearance bins at Polo Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, at the Las Vegas Premium Outlets, in an attempt to keep up with my richer, whiter classmates with their double-popped collars.

Looking back on the Hot Topic incident now, I understand my mother’s reaction. Those purchases were my little transgressions, a glitch in our coherent image as good immigrant mother-and-son, dressed like a diversity initiative at J.Crew, acculturating to our new country as best we could. The irony was that I had just bought what the other, cooler white kids were wearing.

Though I only attempted the studs and chains to impress a boy, I also admired that aesthetic—punk, emo, skater, whatever you want to call it. To me, it signified a resistance to authority I could never manage as a teenager. I was much more comfortable seeking the approval of the powers that be, wearing the prep-ista fashions my mother preferred. Though both styles were access points into pockets of American culture, being a prep was less objectionable, more compatible with the A-plus Asian fantasy that came naturally to me. I could assimilate by being the best, being undeniably worthy of my place in America.

My mother encouraged the method. Do your best so you won’t be teased, I was instructed. Get good grades, get into good schools. Be a model student. Of all the high roads, it was the one where I’d meet the least resistance. Merit, it stood to reason, would prove my worthiness. Excellence, like armor, would make me bulletproof.

I think that’s the confidence Adam saw in me, the sense of invincibility I tried to radiate while wearing a suit. Even when relaxed dress codes in Brooklyn, where I now live, deemed slacks and a pressed shirt sufficient for a Williamsburg wedding, I persisted with velvet blazers and trousers in Glen plaid. I graduated from rentals and bought a tuxedo; I wore it to an office holiday party because I try too hard.

My colleagues and friends were, always have been, generous. You look amazing, they say, always so polished. What I neglect to mention is that it’s all costuming. I work diligently to play the part. The goal was, always has been, to appear qualified, to present my excellence.

According to my mother, I got my personal style from her. True, in the way a young gay boy divafies women who’ve faced adversity and whose femininity was also a source of strength—like Judy Garland or Princess Diana—I modeled myself after my mother, a paradigm of grace under pressure. But it’s hard to say if my predilection for oxfords at dinner or linen in the summer was entirely my mother’s influence.

It was certainly something I doubled down on as an immigrant attempting to assimilate. I emulated my peers in Las Vegas, the ones who offered me a seat at the table and in their cars, in the sporty Audis and Mercedes SUVs their parents bequeathed them. Benevolent though they were, paying for my french fries at the Burger King drive-through before rehearsals, I was always conscious of how I occupied a caste below. At the outlet mall, I once bought a white cashmere sweater—something that, to me, screamed affluence—even though it was a size too big and we lived in the desert. I never wore it, only hoped for a day when I could at last fill it out.

If I had nice things, I thought, I would eventually grow into them. To Filipino immigrants who’ve gone stateside, nice things meant American things. When my mother and stepfather had their second wedding, this time in Manila, I skipped the rental tux and had a suit made. They took me to my stepfather’s usual place, a haberdasher he had on retainer.

The shop owner asked if I wanted a barong Tagalog. I shook my head and said no. Instead, I requested, “Pwede po magpagawa ng Americana?”

THE BOSTON GLOBE published an interesting comic in 1899. It ran on March 5, barely ninety days after the Treaty of Paris was signed the year before, the provisions of which included Spain’s relinquishment of Cuba and its cession of Puerto Rico and Guam to the United States. Additionally, as part of the treaty, the US purchased the entire archipelago known as Las Islas Filipinas from the Spanish crown for a cool $20 million (roughly $600 million in 2018 money, after inflation). History books, when they care to remember it, see the ratification of this treaty and the US victory in the Spanish-American War as the point where the nation began its ascent as a world power.

The comic from the Boston Globe is called Expansion, before and after. The central figure is a grotesque brownface caricature of a Filipino. He’s smiling toothily in a suit, a stars-and-bars Americana, and labeled “The Filipino After Expansion.” The crude “before” image has him in a grass skirt, bare-chested and barefoot, wielding a spear and bow. The surrounding panels portray him in similar befores-and-afters, that is to say, pre- and postcolonial makeover. In one, the description goes, “He could exchange his war club for the baseball bat readily.” Another: “From the war dance to the cake walk is but a step.” It’s a slur in visual language, calling the Filipino population “savage” and “barbaric” without ever saying the words.

It’s racist, obviously. That’s not the interesting part. What’s noteworthy is the comic’s portrayal of Filipinos as uncivilized, which completely disregards Spain’s role in Filipino history—that they had occupied the archipelago for over three hundred years, had already colonized, “civilized,” and injected their DNA into the people who called that archipelago home, and organized them into a territory named after a boy who would become their king. By the time the Mayflower set sail, Las Islas Filipinas had been part of Europe’s most powerful monarchy for a century.

But white America has long wanted to believe in its own manifest supremacy. The Globe cartoon pushed the notion that the United States had happened upon an exotic and previously unknown land, had baptized it with the name the Philippine Islands, and was divinely equipped to do the generous work of taming its unwashed ruffians (“His old habit of running amuck will aid greatly on the football field,” jeered the cartoon) and bringing them into the fold of the Western world. In short, it was propaganda. It made a punch line of Filipinos and provided a model for how we must comport ourselves to belong in American society.

We’re offered a path to acceptance and “civilization” by assimilating, shedding our Filipinoness, apparently so boorish and uncouth, and bolstering the greater American project. It remains the advertised path to this day, which can be seen in the promotion of English at the expense of Filipino languages. Common are the Filipino Americans who do not speak their family’s mother tongue because their parents did not teach them. Such is an immigrant’s gambit: speak only English at home to hone your speech and better fit into American contexts, to prevent the inheritance of impediments—hurdles we have jumped and don’t wish upon our children.

Even teachers in the Philippines have greatly reduced the number of classes taught in Filipino languages. In 2003, the year I immigrated, the president issued an executive order that required no less than 70 percent of school hours be conducted in English. Given the over one hundred distinct languages spoken in the country—like Tagalog, Ilocano, and Hiligaynon—wider English education helps to develop a lingua franca among all Filipinos. It’s also a tool of colonialization. The American colonial government used English education in the territory to homogenize its subjects under one flag. The United States promised the Philippine Islands a delayed independence, then made over this colony into a commonwealth in its own image, promoting myths of Western superiority that influence the Filipino diaspora to this day.

With my double-popped collars and penchant for the Americana, I used this colonial grooming to my advantage. But I made my choice under threat of violence. In the States, I was already targeted for being a “faggot”—peers threatened to beat me up if I so much as made eye contact with another boy. Even before a teacher grimly suggested that I research the killing of Matthew Shepard, I had known that to be gay was to be in constant danger. On top of that, my skin color—not white, but not black—made me a confusing Other in America and exposed me to racist stereotypes beyond the tropes commonly linked to Filipinos, or Asians broadly. A man once spat at my mother and grandfather in a parking lot, accused them of stealing jobs, and told them to “leave my country.”


  • "An intellectually ambitious, politically engaged, ideologically sensitive memoir."
    Kirkus Reviews
  • "[Ortile] traverses a multitude of humorous and painful experiences with incisiveness and empathy."
  • "A whip-smart essay collection explores the intersection of race, sexuality and identity through the lens of one queer immigrant's personal history."
    Shelf Awareness, starred
  • "Weaving stories together about his life and the history of the marginalized communities he belongs to, Ortile seamlessly brings readers into the intersections of his experiences."—Alamin Yohannes,
  • Matt Ortile's ardent and precocious collection sets the page aflame with its explosive mixture of passion and politics, cultural analysis and self-examination. Cruising through virtual and nocturnal circuits, Ortile riffs like a guitar savant on what it means to be a young wanderer in the city today with astute carnality and endearing candor. The Groom Will Keep His Name is a daring brown and queer manifesto that proclaims to everyone making our way in the world: never bow to the false gods of whiteness and normalcy.—Meredith Talusan, author of Fairest
  • Ortile's writing is like sex--sensual and vulnerable, sometimes irreverent, and often soaked in layers of meaning, with the ability to make you laugh, make you cry, and lay you bare. The Groom Will Keep His Name is a sumptuous must-read for the queer millennial.—Casey McQuiston, author of Red, White & Royal Blue
  • Matt Ortile writes with precision and power, and his work overflows with probing insight both inward and outward facing. Ortile's essays deftly navigate the complicated intersection of race, sex, history, family, and self. Propelled by bracing candor and impeccable skill, The Groom Will Keep His Name rushes straight to the reader's eyeballs, demanding to be read.—Josh Gondelman, author of Nice Try
  • Matt Ortile writes this book as a kind of open invitation to readers, exploring themes of family (chosen and otherwise), relationships, race and identity with refreshing wit and vulnerability. Some of his essays might remind you of favorite conversations you've had with your sharpest, smartest friends-if you're very lucky, that is, and happen to have friends as thoughtful and brilliant as he is. Wry, funny, and poignant by turns, The Groom Will Keep His Name is an honest and moving account of a young immigrant's evolving understanding of himself, as well as the two countries he's called home.—Nicole Chung, author of All You Can Ever Know

On Sale
Jun 2, 2020
Page Count
336 pages
Bold Type Books

Matt Ortile

About the Author

Matt Ortile is the managing editor of Catapult magazine. Previously, he was the global publishing lead for BuzzFeed International and the founding editor of BuzzFeed Philippines. His writing has been published by BuzzFeed, Into, Self, and Out, among others. He lives in NYC.

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