When author 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.
Ortile joins us for a Town Hall livestream exploring the various tales he 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. In conversation with writer Ashley C. Ford, Ortile cites stories from The Groom Will Keep His Name, his riotous collection of essays revealing the perspective of a gay Filipino immigrant in America learning that everything is about sex—and sex is about power. Ortile explores how, as we meet and mate, we tell stories about ourselves and reveal not just who we are, but who we want to be. He recounts the relationships that pushed him to confront his notions of sex, power, and the model minority myth. Take a journey with Ortile and Ford beyond swiping on Grindr, analyzing DMs, or cruising steam rooms, and move toward radical self-love with intelligence, wit, and wearing our hearts on our sleeves.
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.
Ashley C. Ford is a writer and host of seasons one and three of Mastercard’s Fortune Favors The Bold podcast. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, ELLE, BuzzFeed, OUT Magazine, Slate, Teen Vogue, New York Magazine, and many more.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle.