A debut collection of tender, biting essays on sex, dating, and identity from a gay Filipino immigrant learning to navigate race and resistance in America.
When Matt Ortile’s family moved from Manila to Las Vegas, the locals couldn’t pronounce his name. Bullied for his brown skin, accent, and femininity, he couldn’t wait to move to New York, start over, and leave the past behind him – Filipino name included. In The Groom Will Keep His Name, Ortile traces his journey to an awakening of radical self-love.
When we date and mate, we tell stories about ourselves, trying to put our “best foot forward.” Dating apps and social media have encouraged us to further curate the face we show the world. Our personal myths, however true or false, reveal not just who we are, but who we want to be. The Groom Will Keep His Name explores the various fables Ortile has spun for himself: as a Vassar Girl, an American Boy, a card-carrying member of Gay Twitter, and a Filipino immigrant looking to build a home.