The Groom Will Keep His Name

And Other Vows I've Made about Race, Resistance, and Romance
Bold Type Books. Jun. 2020. 336p. ISBN 9781541762794. pap. $16.99. SOC SCI
Ortile (managing editor, Catapult magazine; founding editor, BuzzFeed Philippines) makes his debut with this rich collection of essays. Ortile emigrated from the Philippines to the United States at age 12, completing high school in Las Vegas and college at Vassar before moving to New York to work in media. In emotionally resonant and evocative prose, Ortile reflects on Philippine and Filipino history, his sexual experiences on Grindr and in gym steam rooms, and the lives of twenty-somethings trying to make their way in the big city. He analyzes the Asian model minority myth, online confessionals, colorism, the need to decolonize oneself, the buff and blinding whiteness of American masculinity, and the performance of gay masculinity and Americanness. Along the way, he touches on astrology and self-transformation, online communities past and present, the perils of running into exes at work parties, the racism lurking in liberal institutions, late-stage capitalism, cruising and consent, chosen families, and leaving and returning home.
VERDICT Ortile's writing is insightful and honest, giving readers a window into a world with which they may not be familiar. Part cultural commentary, part self-examination, this candid account is highly recommended.

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