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


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

30 review for The Groom Will Keep His Name: And Other Vows I've Made About Race, Resistance, and Romance

  1. 5 out of 5

    chan ☆

    there were parts of this i absolutely loved and parts i was really bored by. i think listening on audio in one sitting maybe wasn’t the best way to consume this... mostly because it’s a collection of essays so there was a lot of overlap in content and reading them all back to back could at times be a bit boring. that being said i really loved the author’s look at his experiences through the lens of how colonialism impacted his view of himself and the world. the elements of Filipino history includ there were parts of this i absolutely loved and parts i was really bored by. i think listening on audio in one sitting maybe wasn’t the best way to consume this... mostly because it’s a collection of essays so there was a lot of overlap in content and reading them all back to back could at times be a bit boring. that being said i really loved the author’s look at his experiences through the lens of how colonialism impacted his view of himself and the world. the elements of Filipino history included were pretty awesome too, i never felt like i was listening to a text book but was still learning a lot. also loved the commentary on the gay community, much of which i hadn’t previously thought about. i think the hardest part of this collection for me was the heavy emphasis on the author’s dating history. again, this is likely my own fault for not reading the synopsis well enough but a lot of the essays focused on failed relationships. not inherently a bad thing, but i didn’t understand the inclusion for a lot of it. there was no clear message or reflection by the author for a lot of the relationship content and it kind of took away from otherwise interesting reading. that being said, essays and memoirs are highly personal works and i don’t want to pass judgment on someone’s experiences. if the synopsis of this book interests you i would really recommend it!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    I’m so happy to read and review an essay collection by a gay Filipino immigrant! I most loved The Groom Will Keep His Name for Matt Ortile’s honest, intelligent writing about the colonization of the Philippines and how that colonization manifests in his own life, as well as the steps he takes to resist it. He writes about colonization, tokenization, and fetishization in a way that educates the reader without taking us out of his overall narrative, the sign of a talented essay writer who can blen I’m so happy to read and review an essay collection by a gay Filipino immigrant! I most loved The Groom Will Keep His Name for Matt Ortile’s honest, intelligent writing about the colonization of the Philippines and how that colonization manifests in his own life, as well as the steps he takes to resist it. He writes about colonization, tokenization, and fetishization in a way that educates the reader without taking us out of his overall narrative, the sign of a talented essay writer who can blend the political and the personal. I also appreciated the small yet specific details he included throughout the collection, like how he would buy and eat a pie for one while going about his single life in New York as well as how he played a Harry Potter RPG online while visiting his dad in the Philippines earlier in his life. Ortile also describes his sexual and romantic life in explicit detail which I found entertaining, especially as a fellow gay Asian American man. I’m definitely not into interacting with men as much as Ortile because I generally find men a waste of my time, so it’s nice to live vicariously through his escapades so I know what that path would’ve felt like if I had taken it. My only constructive critique of The Groom Will Keep His Name is that I wanted just a bit deeper self-analysis and exploration at times. The Goodreads description of this book says that Ortile “brings us on his journey toward radical self-love” and I wanted more of that radical self-love, tbh! For example, I feel that Ortile does a nice job of naming patterns of white supremacy in his dating life, such as how he dated a lot of white men and glorified them in large part due to their whiteness. While reading these sections though, I kept asking: what next? I wanted him to go deeper, to share more about actively fighting and resisting whiteness, to name how amatonormavitiy may have made him position his self-worth in the context of romance in the first place, etc. At one point he writes about wanting a man to rescue him. While he challenges that notion and describes how his immigration experience may have contributed to that wanting, I still felt that he could have written more about really loving himself beyond his romantic relationship to a man, even if he does desire one in his life. Overall, I did enjoy this essay collection. I recognize I may be going tough on Ortile because I’m also a gay Asian American man and have certain ideas about how we should mobilize to dismantle white supremacy and patriarchy in the queer community. At the same time, Ortile accomplishes so much with this collection, like actively talking about race and resistance and keeping his last name, mentioning going to therapy, and presenting an unfiltered perspective into his emotional life. I hope he continues to grow and to flourish, and here’s to more reading and celebrating more queer writers of color in the future.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    I listened to the audio narrated by the author. This is a smart, insightful, sometimes funny, emotionally resonant collection of essays covering a number of important topics. I highly recommend listening to an essay or two at a time and giving yourself time to reflect on Ortile’s words. Thank you Libro.fm for the the gifted audio. I think so much of the book I also bought a hardcopy. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/t I listened to the audio narrated by the author. This is a smart, insightful, sometimes funny, emotionally resonant collection of essays covering a number of important topics. I highly recommend listening to an essay or two at a time and giving yourself time to reflect on Ortile’s words. Thank you Libro.fm for the the gifted audio. I think so much of the book I also bought a hardcopy. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  4. 4 out of 5

    ✨ jamieson ✨

    The Groom Will Keep His Name is a poignant, funny and insightful collection of essays, examining various topics from race, imperialism, queerness and romance, as well as where they intersect. Matt Ortile details his experiences moving from Manila to Las Vegas, discussing how his sexuality, femininity, ethnicity and appearance were received in America and how, in turn, it affected his psyche as he strove to achieve assimilation in America. I think this is a really unique essay collection about li The Groom Will Keep His Name is a poignant, funny and insightful collection of essays, examining various topics from race, imperialism, queerness and romance, as well as where they intersect. Matt Ortile details his experiences moving from Manila to Las Vegas, discussing how his sexuality, femininity, ethnicity and appearance were received in America and how, in turn, it affected his psyche as he strove to achieve assimilation in America. I think this is a really unique essay collection about living within the diaspora because of its focus on intersectionality. Ortile's witty style and insight, as well as personal touches, kept each essay engaging. I think the strongest essays were the ones relating to family and community, dating as a Filipino man and the racism within the gay community, and those about American/Philippines history and politics. Some essays were not as well tied together as others, and sometimes it felt like it went into tangents that didn't succinctly tie back into the original point, hence the four stars. Though overall this was a really strong collection that I'm really glad I picked up.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lily Herman

    What an incredible debut for Matt Ortile. The Groom Will Keep His Name will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you think. I loved every second of it. Through its pages, Ortile's work unpacks what it means to be part of intersecting—and sometimes conflicting—identities and communities and the struggle to find oneself in the midst of them. All of his essays were strong, but two of my favorites were those on his construction of the Vassar Girl and his complicated, evolving views on marriage. And What an incredible debut for Matt Ortile. The Groom Will Keep His Name will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you think. I loved every second of it. Through its pages, Ortile's work unpacks what it means to be part of intersecting—and sometimes conflicting—identities and communities and the struggle to find oneself in the midst of them. All of his essays were strong, but two of my favorites were those on his construction of the Vassar Girl and his complicated, evolving views on marriage. And while Ortile is obviously speaking to his own experiences, his work is as much about coming of age in this particular era and not really knowing what you're doing in the process. Such a beautiful book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alanna Bennett

    When you lay out what Matt Ortile is doing in this book — unpacking the effects of whiteness and the lie of the American dream, his own complacency and his journey into existing beyond it — the text could sound academic. And it certainly is well-researched, and well-thought. But I need you to know how beautiful the prose in this book is, too. How Ortile's becoming is wrapped in stories that are sexy, bracing, deeply relatable, and interesting even if you do not fall into Ortile's specific demogr When you lay out what Matt Ortile is doing in this book — unpacking the effects of whiteness and the lie of the American dream, his own complacency and his journey into existing beyond it — the text could sound academic. And it certainly is well-researched, and well-thought. But I need you to know how beautiful the prose in this book is, too. How Ortile's becoming is wrapped in stories that are sexy, bracing, deeply relatable, and interesting even if you do not fall into Ortile's specific demographic. Ortile has a voice worth paying attention to. He may teach you something — about your country, about culture, about yourself. He may also have you blushing. Definitely worth a read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    ⁣Thank you @hachetteaudio @boldtypebooks @librofm for this audiobook⁣ ⁣ I enjoyed this audiobook so much that I decided to get the kindle book as well so my husband can read it too. This was spot on about the hardship attached to the whole ”Living the American Dream.” People from our home country may think that our lives here is bed of roses, I mean don't get me wrong, we sure have better opportunities and lives, but our journey towards it wasn't easy. And I am one of those that even after twenty ⁣Thank you @hachetteaudio @boldtypebooks @librofm for this audiobook⁣ ⁣ I enjoyed this audiobook so much that I decided to get the kindle book as well so my husband can read it too. This was spot on about the hardship attached to the whole ”Living the American Dream.” People from our home country may think that our lives here is bed of roses, I mean don't get me wrong, we sure have better opportunities and lives, but our journey towards it wasn't easy. And I am one of those that even after twenty years of living here in the US kind of didn't lose my accent completely. This book talks about colonization, being immigrant or as I also like to call it legal/permanent alien (Matt, you read my mind on this), being gay in Filipino culture and living in America, the struggle of accepting who you are because of all the name-calling and awful stuff thrown at you, romance and a lot of sex. It is funny, entertaining, and very educational—tons of references about history and politics. I love the break down of crab mentality and for stating that the primary language of instruction in the Philippines is English! I love this book! ⁣

  8. 5 out of 5

    WeiLe

    A strong and lovely 5 stars to this book and Matt Ortile! This autobiography is exactly everything I needed to read. Finding Ortile's experiences putting well together helped me view my life differently. Thank you for writing this book and sharing your stories on being a gay Filipino immigrant. This book makes my heart scream in public a lot of times and I find it so relatable to mine. I love and adore this book. Most importantly, learning the importance and uniqueness of oneself, especially our A strong and lovely 5 stars to this book and Matt Ortile! This autobiography is exactly everything I needed to read. Finding Ortile's experiences putting well together helped me view my life differently. Thank you for writing this book and sharing your stories on being a gay Filipino immigrant. This book makes my heart scream in public a lot of times and I find it so relatable to mine. I love and adore this book. Most importantly, learning the importance and uniqueness of oneself, especially our names.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    Oh man, I have never had a put a book down so many times because it hit so close to home. Between wrestling with how you fit in the model minority myth, navigating being a Filipino at a small liberal arts college, or crying over some pecan pie bought to avoid loneliness, I have never felt more seen. I didn’t want it to end.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tori Larson

    Matt Ortile’s debut is an education. A series of essays about race, colonialism, queerness, family, the American dream, and millennialism, The Groom Will Keep His Name is witty and raw. This book is incredibly self-aware. Matt lays himself bare, reckoning with the elitism he so long has desired and how he came to his values. He does not shy away from detailing his relationships and all the beauty, pain, and sex that came with them. Having read Matt’s essays before, I knew it would be well-writte Matt Ortile’s debut is an education. A series of essays about race, colonialism, queerness, family, the American dream, and millennialism, The Groom Will Keep His Name is witty and raw. This book is incredibly self-aware. Matt lays himself bare, reckoning with the elitism he so long has desired and how he came to his values. He does not shy away from detailing his relationships and all the beauty, pain, and sex that came with them. Having read Matt’s essays before, I knew it would be well-written and read conversationally. But I was not expecting to be blown away by well-researched historical analysis The Groom Will Keep His Name offers in each essay. I truly learned so much about both Matt’s and Filipino history. The Groom Will Keep His Name is a beautiful addition to the growing list of excellent memoirs by young queer authors.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    I would give this 3.5 stars - the quality of each essay varied, and it often felt like the author was still grappling with issues that he was trying to talk about with authority. It felt like I was reading a memoir written by a young person, which is what this is. It read as quite unsure of itself at times. The strongest parts were the conversations about history and politics of the Philippines.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Szymon

    I vow to love myself with grace and have love, in turn, to share. Matt Ortile's collection of essays uncovers his experience as a queer Filipino who immigrated to the United States at a young age with his mother. In his essays, Ortile grapples with being, living, between two worlds that bring both merit as well as their downsides. He explores the influence of the harmful 'model minority' stereotype on his trajectory, particularly as an alum of a prestigious college (as delved into in 'Vassar I vow to love myself with grace and have love, in turn, to share. Matt Ortile's collection of essays uncovers his experience as a queer Filipino who immigrated to the United States at a young age with his mother. In his essays, Ortile grapples with being, living, between two worlds that bring both merit as well as their downsides. He explores the influence of the harmful 'model minority' stereotype on his trajectory, particularly as an alum of a prestigious college (as delved into in 'Vassar Girl'). There are a lot of passages and an entire essay devoted to the colonization of names and histories, that rob immigrants and post-colonial communities of their heritage. The essays about his queer identity and how its interwoven with his being Filipino in America were especially impactful. Ortile talks about the racism and fetishisation prevalent in the gay community, and how he himself held certain beliefs about himself and other queer men that he had to unlearn. He describes the myth of homonormativity and its corrosive effects on the progress of LGBTQ+ rights. Aside from the essays on race and sexuality, the one that probably stuck with me the most was 'To Live Alone', in which Ortile describes the loneliness he felt at a certain point in life when everything else was but. He stresses the importance of community and the 'inherently queer notion' of chosen families. I highlighted a lot of passages in this book. As with any book about someone else's point of view, their life and experience, I managed to learn at least a smidge. If you want to learn more about what it is like to live as an Asian gay man in America, here is at least one perspective. 4 stars because certain essays dragged a little bit but always managed to pull focus and end where they should.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eileen

    This was a perfect time to read this book as I think of my brother and close friends and celebrate pride week, but I am also exploring the issues of race and racism and this adds another dimension as Mr. Ortile addresses the issues of racism against and by Asians in the bigger context of racism against people of color. I found this book to be very well written and narrated and learned a fair bit of history that I wasn't fully aware of regarding colonialism. This book was clearly well researched This was a perfect time to read this book as I think of my brother and close friends and celebrate pride week, but I am also exploring the issues of race and racism and this adds another dimension as Mr. Ortile addresses the issues of racism against and by Asians in the bigger context of racism against people of color. I found this book to be very well written and narrated and learned a fair bit of history that I wasn't fully aware of regarding colonialism. This book was clearly well researched and his writing style is very conversational. I found certain chapters to be very powerful, including the chapter on being a Vassar girl. This is interesting because I have a friend who just graduated from Vassar and what he says about young people at Vassar being much more socially active and aware now than when he was in school seems to be in keeping with what I know of her. Even while I was in the middle of this book I was already recommending this book to people. There is a lot here that adds to the conversation on racism especially in the queer community that makes it well worth reading. One thing I thought might make me uncomfortable was his very open discussion about some of his sexual experiences, but there was always very good context and I never felt uncomfortable. Instead I felt like I better understood his point. That said, this book would probably be better for older teens or young adults and above because of the sexual content. Highly recommended.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Abbie | ab_reads

    (#gifted @librofm) I went on somewhat of a non-fiction audiobook kick in July, and honestly they were all great! The Groom Will Keep His Name by Matt Ortile is a collection of essays arranged in a sort of memoir. Ortile reflects on all sorts of aspects of his life so far, but mainly on sex, power and the model minority myth. . I loved how open and honest Ortile is throughout the book. He bares all when it comes to relationships, from Grindr to steam room encounters at his gym, and he lays his lear (#gifted @librofm) I went on somewhat of a non-fiction audiobook kick in July, and honestly they were all great! The Groom Will Keep His Name by Matt Ortile is a collection of essays arranged in a sort of memoir. Ortile reflects on all sorts of aspects of his life so far, but mainly on sex, power and the model minority myth. . I loved how open and honest Ortile is throughout the book. He bares all when it comes to relationships, from Grindr to steam room encounters at his gym, and he lays his learning and unlearning for everyone to see. As a young boy, Ortile moved from the Philippines to the US with his mother, where he then grappled with his identity as a gay Filipino immigrant. He outlines his journey thus far to decolonising his mind, from originally wanting to marry a white man and erase his Filippino name to unpacking later relationships with white men and the ways they might think about him. . The essays have a distinct millennial flavour which I enjoyed - the essay structured around the time he started crying while eating a individual pecan pie really resonated for some reason. But although he makes jokes and funny observations, the book was a lot more serious than I anticipated, and I liked it all the more for it. I did think some of the essays overlapped a bit. It wasn’t quite repetitive, but maybe it could have been tighter as a straightforward memoir narrative. . Ortile’s musings on the model minority myth were particularly compelling. The system is designed to keep BIPOC pitted against one another, while white people remain comfortable at the top. I also loved his point on selective forgetting in America, and the west in general. White people are so keen to remind others 'never forget' when the tragedy concerns white suffering and death, but slavery? Genocide? Internment camps? That's all in the past, can't we just ‘forget about it already?’ . Ortile is only young and as he himself says, still has a lifelong journey of unlearning and decolonising to do. I'd definitely read another collection of essays from him later in life!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Susie Dumond

    In this essay collection, Matt Ortile explores his experience as a gay Filipino immigrant in America. From the model minority myth to racism within the LGBT community, Ortile's writing is insightful, funny, and heartfelt. His narrative voice is so strong, and it made reading this book feel like time spent with a smart, entertaining friend. This collection makes it clear that the personal is political and the political is personal; Ortile is able to examine his own experiences with a wide lens. I In this essay collection, Matt Ortile explores his experience as a gay Filipino immigrant in America. From the model minority myth to racism within the LGBT community, Ortile's writing is insightful, funny, and heartfelt. His narrative voice is so strong, and it made reading this book feel like time spent with a smart, entertaining friend. This collection makes it clear that the personal is political and the political is personal; Ortile is able to examine his own experiences with a wide lens. I really look forward to reading more from him in the future! Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Schultz

    Read if you: Want some thought-provoking essays about being Filipino-American, an immigrant, and gay. Matt Ortile's essays run the gamut from immigrating to the US from the Philippines, growing up in Las Vegas, attending Vassar, his early career in New York, and dating. The dark and troublesome colonial history of the Philippines and their later period of dictatorships is also an important theme throughout the book; quite an eye-opener if you're not familiar with it. Librarians and booksellers: Read if you: Want some thought-provoking essays about being Filipino-American, an immigrant, and gay. Matt Ortile's essays run the gamut from immigrating to the US from the Philippines, growing up in Las Vegas, attending Vassar, his early career in New York, and dating. The dark and troublesome colonial history of the Philippines and their later period of dictatorships is also an important theme throughout the book; quite an eye-opener if you're not familiar with it. Librarians and booksellers: Purchase if essay collections, especially those dealing with intersectionality, are popular. Many thanks to Perseus Books/PublicAffairs and NetGalley for a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Aceves

    I can't exaggerate home much I love this book. Hilarious, honest, touching. Everything I could ever want. I can't exaggerate home much I love this book. Hilarious, honest, touching. Everything I could ever want.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kristel (hungryandhappy)

    *ARC from NetGalley* I don't know why it took me longer to read this than my last memoir. Maybe I'm just not really a non-fiction reader. I enjoyed this and how I could relate to it being myself an immigrant looking for a better life. While I could relate to a bit, I couldn't to many more and I found it very interesting to see all the ways Matt and his mother faced the new world they decided to inhabit. I really liked how everything was explained with a little humour that compensated the heavier pa *ARC from NetGalley* I don't know why it took me longer to read this than my last memoir. Maybe I'm just not really a non-fiction reader. I enjoyed this and how I could relate to it being myself an immigrant looking for a better life. While I could relate to a bit, I couldn't to many more and I found it very interesting to see all the ways Matt and his mother faced the new world they decided to inhabit. I really liked how everything was explained with a little humour that compensated the heavier parts. The author managed to keep myself glued to the pages. I think this memoir should be read by everyone to understand a bit more the life of an immigrant in the US and all the obstacles they have to face. Wether you relate to it or not, this is a very interesting read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    Available today! I got this essay collection from Net Galley and I was eager to read it. Matt Ortile is a gay, Filipino-American living in New York City who attended Vassar and worked in major media. This is his first collection of essays and they are raw and honest. The essays get stronger with the strongest as the last, eponymous essay. These pieces are layered referring to events and characters creating story that more like a web. Ortile tackles themes such as sex and sexuality, immigration a Available today! I got this essay collection from Net Galley and I was eager to read it. Matt Ortile is a gay, Filipino-American living in New York City who attended Vassar and worked in major media. This is his first collection of essays and they are raw and honest. The essays get stronger with the strongest as the last, eponymous essay. These pieces are layered referring to events and characters creating story that more like a web. Ortile tackles themes such as sex and sexuality, immigration and identity, otherness and loneliness. I really loved this collection. I wasn’t drawn in right away but I’m really glad I continued. I am looking forward to whatever he writes next. ★★★★★ ◊ eBook ◊ Nonfiction - Essay, Memoir ◊ provided by #NetGalley ◊ Published by Bold Type Press on June 2, 2020. ◾︎

  20. 4 out of 5

    Veronica Duran

    This was a poignant portrayal of the trials and tribulations of several intersected identities (in Matt Ortile's case, being an immigrant, Filipino-American, and gay) in this country that promises "The American Dream". He gives such raw and honest accounts of being met with a lot of social and cultural challenges and adversities throughout the years, while chasing "the dream". I felt at times this read very scholarly and educational. I felt as though I was back in college reading a sociology tex This was a poignant portrayal of the trials and tribulations of several intersected identities (in Matt Ortile's case, being an immigrant, Filipino-American, and gay) in this country that promises "The American Dream". He gives such raw and honest accounts of being met with a lot of social and cultural challenges and adversities throughout the years, while chasing "the dream". I felt at times this read very scholarly and educational. I felt as though I was back in college reading a sociology textbook, which I enjoyed because I learned a lot throughout this collection of essays. Yet, other sections read as if he were just casually speaking, recanting his experiences and it was a breeze to follow along to. I enjoyed both tones. Overall, I really enjoyed this and I loved the intersectionalism and the dissection of the experiences within his intersected identities in the U.S. I felt that this was eye opening and very telling of our society and the standards we are held to and the even higher and often times unachievable standards minorities are held to. **Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review**

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kloyde Caday

    Matt Ortile’s suite of essays walked me through the bars that smell of youth, a wedding ceremony that makes me rethink of romance, the ideals at schools like Vassar, and the colonial periods that has brought us to where we are now. In talking about racism, queerness, cultures, and love, he hopscotches from millennial-speak to scholarly to irreverence—but this amalgamation has not strayed the readers from stressing that everything is political: love is political; identity is political; belonging i Matt Ortile’s suite of essays walked me through the bars that smell of youth, a wedding ceremony that makes me rethink of romance, the ideals at schools like Vassar, and the colonial periods that has brought us to where we are now. In talking about racism, queerness, cultures, and love, he hopscotches from millennial-speak to scholarly to irreverence—but this amalgamation has not strayed the readers from stressing that everything is political: love is political; identity is political; belonging is political; self-care is political. And our imagination of a society that nurtures diversity and corrects our shared histories will only be granted if we continue to provide spaces for discourse and resist altogether. What I love most about this is on how he navigated difficult topics on being a gay Filipino immigrant with self-awareness and vulnerability. Reading while listening to him thru Audible is an education, a therapy, and an encouragement to topple down social inequalities and neocolonialism. I myself am inclined to writing essays, so discovering a Filipino writing in this genre caught my attention easily. Based on my observation, Philippine literature is found wanting of memoirs and/or personal essays, which contradicts the fact that our lives are worth showing. I hope that more brave Filipino writers will produce their own factual and truthful narratives. (I review books and write anything here: https://kloydecaday.wordpress.com/; instagram: @kloydecaday. Feel free to discuss with me!)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Loson

    Thank you to Libro FM for this ALC, out now! I absolutely love any audiobook that is narrated by the author, and this was no exception. Since I am fairly new to audiobooks still, I feel that if one can keep me captivated while I do things around the house, or has me extending my walks so I can continue to listen, then it is a really good one. I felt the same way about listening to Matt Ortile as I did with George M. Johnson; like they were just having long conversations with me about their lives Thank you to Libro FM for this ALC, out now! I absolutely love any audiobook that is narrated by the author, and this was no exception. Since I am fairly new to audiobooks still, I feel that if one can keep me captivated while I do things around the house, or has me extending my walks so I can continue to listen, then it is a really good one. I felt the same way about listening to Matt Ortile as I did with George M. Johnson; like they were just having long conversations with me about their lives and the state of the world. There was a lot of sex talk in this, which may not be for everyone, but it again felt like a friend telling me about whatever they had gotten up to over the weekend and giving me the dirty details. Matt talks about his life so freely, and is not ashamed to bare everything to tell us his most deep down truths. While we do learn a lot about Matt's life, he also talks a lot about the history of colonialism, how the Phillippines came to be what it is today, and heavily talks about racism in the world and in the US. This book felt so timely in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement gaining so much momentum, and police brutality being exposed even more in every single state (as well as numerous other countries), because Matt touches on every single thing the movement is about, how it came to be, how it relates to history, and how in some ways it relates to him as well. The title really does tell you everything this book is about, and I think as a debut it was fantastic.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jess (bibliophilly_) B.

    “We all came here for ‘a better life.’ But to witness such prejudice in my own time and in my history books, has taught me that racism, homophobia, and xenophobia are fixtures of life in the United States. The list of evidence is exhausting.” The Groom Will Keep His Name is a humorous, yet serious, intersection of what it’s like to experience America as a gay, immigrant, person of color. Ortile’s writing both kept me entertained and taught me so much; his sense of humor and honestly provided a li “We all came here for ‘a better life.’ But to witness such prejudice in my own time and in my history books, has taught me that racism, homophobia, and xenophobia are fixtures of life in the United States. The list of evidence is exhausting.” The Groom Will Keep His Name is a humorous, yet serious, intersection of what it’s like to experience America as a gay, immigrant, person of color. Ortile’s writing both kept me entertained and taught me so much; his sense of humor and honestly provided a lighthearted approach for serious topics such as racial stereotypes, colonialism, sexuality, racism, and more. This book feels a little hard to rate because even though I did enjoy it and found it funny, I also thought it was very repetitive and boring at times. I’d give it a 3.5, rounded up for goodreads. If you’re interested in expanding your antiracist/LGTBQ reading list, I’d recommend adding this! Overall, read this if you: - like The Devil Wears Prada (book or movie) - want to empathize with what American life is like as a POC LGBTQ immigrant - enjoy memoirs/nonfiction

  24. 5 out of 5

    Emma Presnell

    Thank you to Perseus Books and NetGalley for this ARC! Through his collection of essays revolving around race, immigration, his parent’s divorce, family and queerness in the United States, Matt Ortile manages to tell stories that anyone who picks up “The Groom Will Keep His Name: And Other Vows I’ve Made About Race, Resistance, and Romance ” will find something to relate to or learn about. Ortile’s debut book is composed of a series of essays that explore multiple points throughout his teenage an Thank you to Perseus Books and NetGalley for this ARC! Through his collection of essays revolving around race, immigration, his parent’s divorce, family and queerness in the United States, Matt Ortile manages to tell stories that anyone who picks up “The Groom Will Keep His Name: And Other Vows I’ve Made About Race, Resistance, and Romance ” will find something to relate to or learn about. Ortile’s debut book is composed of a series of essays that explore multiple points throughout his teenage and adult life, as he reflects on immigrating to the United States from the Philippines and his work to try to fit in with the predominantly white country and more specifically, his new home of Las Vegas. Throughout the book, as Ortile grows older, the book explores his struggles with being single and alone in New York, working as a rising journalist, embracing his queerness and finding a chosen family. Overall, Ortile’s writing is phenomenal and his writing style, journalistic with amazing use of figurative and descriptive language, captivates and conveys his emotions and thoughts to the reader extremely well. Although I can’t relate to him on some of the things he talked about, such as immigrating and being a minority in the United States, it was an eye opening experience reading this book that I feel more educated and understand more than I did before. Another aspect about this book that was portrayed well was Ortile’s millennial experiences, something that often gets looked over or written off as young adults complaining about their “easy” lives. Ortile’s essays, though, describe the genuine struggles he and other millennials face. On the slip side to that, his essays also allow insight to another way of thinking and handling problems and situations. A highlight of the essays are their length and content, which focuses on a main idea and always ends up tying back to that idea in the end. Sometimes the main focus of one essay would be referenced in another essay which unites the collection well and feels like a complete story, beginning to end. Ortile also found ways to connect different aspects of his essays together nicely, a good example being of an essay focusing on his queerness that goes on to talk about his family relationships, to ultimately come back to his queer relationships in the end. The reading experience is satisfying and comes full circle, making it more impactful for the reader. The Verdict Altogether, Ortile’s essays are not just interesting to read, they’re eye opening and provide a variety of problems and situations to relate to. Personally, this is one of the best books I’ve read this year and one of the best nonfiction books I’ve read in my life. I loved every minute of it and hope that people take the time to read this beautiful collection. This will be one of the best books of the summer and is an amazing experience.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mana

    Concepts like imperialism, colonialism, homophobia, xenophobia, and the model minority myth feel like grandiose ideas that only people with fancy humanities degrees from prestigious universities can discuss. Ortile breathes humanity into these -isms in his essay collection “The Groom Will Keep His Name.” Ortile shows the reader how a colonial mentality can affect romantic, personal, familial, and professional relationships. Ortile writes about his desire for acceptance in America by dreaming of Concepts like imperialism, colonialism, homophobia, xenophobia, and the model minority myth feel like grandiose ideas that only people with fancy humanities degrees from prestigious universities can discuss. Ortile breathes humanity into these -isms in his essay collection “The Groom Will Keep His Name.” Ortile shows the reader how a colonial mentality can affect romantic, personal, familial, and professional relationships. Ortile writes about his desire for acceptance in America by dreaming of marrying a white man and taking his name for an easier life. As if a union with someone undeniably American by anyone standards could by proxy make us also undeniably American. We see this occur with so many other model minorities. Ortile GOES there with all of these topics by effortlessly weaving anecdotes, history, and cultural analysis. Right now, there is a specific discourse about decolonization: learn about precolonial history, question colonial structures, and call out white supremacy. These are all vital steps to radical love (self and all its other forms). Ortile’s personal anecdotes encourage the reader to confront our own personal histories with institutional violence: how we weaponize it against ourselves and to others. I cried from cover to cover. This book demanded a level of self-examination and healing that I thought I already accomplished. Every Filipinx/e must get their hands on this book because there are so many conversations our community needs to have. “Even at my most polished, respectable, and eloquent, worthy of basic citizenship, I am held at arm’s length in the framework of white supremacy, commended and marginalized at once, patronized for how beautifully I speak a language that their empire has beaten into my tongue.” “Because no matter what we do, there is an America that will never count us among their lot, never believe we are like them. Because this is true. We are no just like them. We have paid too much in the currency of our bodies, our emotional labor and fucksweat, to persist in appealing to an America that tells us to retreat.”

  26. 5 out of 5

    Edward Grosskreuz

    Wow. Thank you so much, Matt Ortile, for this work! I can't recall the last novel that has moved me to think as much as this novel did. Each essay is a stand-out. What follows are my thoughts on the ones I found most memorable. "Rice Queens, Dairy Queens" is a master study in labels. True, every community has its labels, its specialized groups. This essay made me think about how we all play into labels, oftentimes unknowingly. A former acquaintance once slapped one of these labels on me, and this Wow. Thank you so much, Matt Ortile, for this work! I can't recall the last novel that has moved me to think as much as this novel did. Each essay is a stand-out. What follows are my thoughts on the ones I found most memorable. "Rice Queens, Dairy Queens" is a master study in labels. True, every community has its labels, its specialized groups. This essay made me think about how we all play into labels, oftentimes unknowingly. A former acquaintance once slapped one of these labels on me, and this essay led me to realize---finally---that he wasn't labeling me (although that was his intention) but he rather was labeling himself. And I'm positive he wouldn't like that label. Furthermore, labels force us into two-dimensional thinking, which prevents us from achieving understanding and depth when considering others. "Shared Histories" should be mandatory reading. As an English teacher, I recognize the absence or minimization of people of color, queer people, and any who are labeled as other from historical narrative and the standard English department canon. I plan on using a portion of this essay as a mentor text for the upcoming school year. A good companion to this is the opening of Tommy Orange's novel There, There. "To Live Alone" got to me. I identify with it, having gone through a very lonely period in my late twenties. Ortile does a beautiful job of defining and illustrating chosen families. Being a fan of Pose and feeling closer to my friends than my own blood relatives, I found myself nodding repeatedly while reading this essay. I applaud Ortile for choosing to keep his name. While our backgrounds are different, I too have an interesting name that no one can pronounce and that I grew up despising, but I have come to embrace it and its meaning. So much goes into a name---one's entire identity---and Ortile labors throughout the novel to share his identity, his pride, and his roots with total candor. It is fitting, then, that the title of the novel is the title of his final essay.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Matt Ortile offers such a raw look into his life with "The Groom Will Keep His Name." He brings us into his stories of sex, heartbreak, racism, shame and so much more, providing a detailed look at his life as a queer brown millennial man, a queer Filipino man more specifically. His experiences may not be wholly unheard of, but they are undoubtedly unique to the written page, an industry that for so long, closed its gates to any stories that weren't white. Ortile's book is so personal, but he mak Matt Ortile offers such a raw look into his life with "The Groom Will Keep His Name." He brings us into his stories of sex, heartbreak, racism, shame and so much more, providing a detailed look at his life as a queer brown millennial man, a queer Filipino man more specifically. His experiences may not be wholly unheard of, but they are undoubtedly unique to the written page, an industry that for so long, closed its gates to any stories that weren't white. Ortile's book is so personal, but he makes sure it's not solely about him. For one, he deftly and smartly weaves in history to put his own story into context. He writes at length about the history between the Philippines and its colonizers, America and Spain, and the effects of that colonization that we still feel today and will likely feel for centuries to come. Not only does his inclusion of history better inform his own stories, but it's a much needed history lesson to the many readers (American, Filipino and beyond) who are likely unaware of these facts. Ortile also opens up this book to be about more than himself by laying bare not only his lived experiences, but his thoughts and feelings behind each moment. By writing about these at length, his readers who have also been in his shoes are able to feel less alone and less isolated in their own feelings of loneliness or homesickness or burnout - the list could go on.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nick DeFiesta

    As a gay Filipino guy who moved from out west to New England for college, and am now living in Brooklyn — this really resonated. Never have I felt so seen, from sexual racism to the mixed feelings around a Filipino last name to the steam room hookups to the deep desire for love and the loneliness (maybe) of not having it (yet another book that's not great to read after a breakup!). So while I loved the substance and the sense of connection, I felt like some of the essays repeated themes and ideas As a gay Filipino guy who moved from out west to New England for college, and am now living in Brooklyn — this really resonated. Never have I felt so seen, from sexual racism to the mixed feelings around a Filipino last name to the steam room hookups to the deep desire for love and the loneliness (maybe) of not having it (yet another book that's not great to read after a breakup!). So while I loved the substance and the sense of connection, I felt like some of the essays repeated themes and ideas; reading this book in two big sittings meant the same facts were hammered multiple times. Sometimes, too, the book would swerve into more of a factual take on an issue (ICE, BLM, etc.), which was a little jarring given the rest of the book's tone. Still, I think this book might be top of list for understanding some of the major themes from my own life, and I dog-eared a bunch of pages that contained ideas I wanted to revisit afterwards. Glad I read it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tanja

    This book was... difficult, and is even more difficult to rate. In a series of (more or less auto-biographic) essays, Matt Ortile talks about his life, mostly in the US, as a queer immigrant. And the US part was actually what alienated me most. I'm obviously neither brown nor a gay man, either, but especially how he describes the particular culture and expectations of his life in New York almost made me quit because it's so far from any reality I can imagine, and so pretentious that I can't imagin This book was... difficult, and is even more difficult to rate. In a series of (more or less auto-biographic) essays, Matt Ortile talks about his life, mostly in the US, as a queer immigrant. And the US part was actually what alienated me most. I'm obviously neither brown nor a gay man, either, but especially how he describes the particular culture and expectations of his life in New York almost made me quit because it's so far from any reality I can imagine, and so pretentious that I can't imagine anyone would ever want that. Also. American colleges. They and the importance people put on their own will always remain a mystery to me. Anyways, I feel like I learned a lot about the Philippines' history, something I admittedly knew next to nothing about before, and especially after the college chapters were over, I started to enjoy reading this a lot more. And then the chapter about loneliness felt like a slap in the face. I really thought that's what I related to most, but then he goes on about his amazing chosen family and how 30 (!) of his friends (!!) – not even just 30 people or even all of his 30 friends, 30 of them – came to his house warming party and okay, sure, whatever. Anyways, still an interesting read for the most part.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Annika (whatannikareads)

    A nice collection of essays from a gay filipino american immigrant. it was cool to actually resonate with an own voices author, being filipino, queer, and studying/working the field of journalism. i think the essays had a tendency to sort of lose its thesis towards the middle due to a long-winded explanation of a sub-anecdote/history lesson. i think it impacted the effectiveness of each essay a bit. but my favorite essay was "balikbayan" because it really hit home for me. i think it's a good lig A nice collection of essays from a gay filipino american immigrant. it was cool to actually resonate with an own voices author, being filipino, queer, and studying/working the field of journalism. i think the essays had a tendency to sort of lose its thesis towards the middle due to a long-winded explanation of a sub-anecdote/history lesson. i think it impacted the effectiveness of each essay a bit. but my favorite essay was "balikbayan" because it really hit home for me. i think it's a good lightweight read for those who like authors of colors, essays, and lgbtq stories!

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