Personal Space: Matt Ortile on Grindr, Sex, and Decolonization
The Author of The Groom Will Keep His Name Talks to Sari Botton
On this episode of Personal Space: The Memoir Show, Sari Botton interviews Matt Ortile, author of the memoir The Groom Will Keep His Name: And Other Vows I’ve Made About Race, Resistance and Romance, published by Bold Type Books. Ortile writes about owning his identity as a gay, Filipino-American in a world curated for the straight, white, male gaze; combatting racism and homophobia both externally and internally; the history of colonization in the Philippines and its lasting effects; and much more. Please purchase The Groom Will Keep His Name from your favorite local bookstore, or through Bookshop.
From the episode:
Sari Botton: It seems you gained a lot of knowledge about your own internalized racism as you were writing the book. What was the hardest thing to take in about that?
Matt Ortile: As a writer, I think we have a tendency to want things to have a tidy ending. You would like to say, this is what I have gone through, and this is what I have learned, this is when it all ends, this is when it all was solved. And I think this can be kind of a disservice… a limitation on where the story could go afterwards. Something I was excited about was realizing how much I was learning even as I was writing; I was still deciding what the book would say. A finished copy will have to exist as it is, but I was excited to say that I am still learning as I go. The decolonization process, unlearning white supremacy, everything that an unjust America has told us: this is an ongoing process.
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