American Boys (Daylight Books, April 2019) is an intuitive representation of the transmasculine community in the US. Over the course of three years, Soraya Zaman traveled to 21 states photographing and interviewing trans men ages 18 to 35. Shot in in their hometowns at distinct stages of their transition, Zaman’s tender portraits and accompanying essays candidly capture the grace and humanity of trans men.
“The binary days and the antiquated stereotypes of what it means to be born a girl or boy, are finally coming undone,” states Zaman. “It is time we acknowledge the human race is more unique and special than these strict and simplistic ways of being which are not relevant to everyone.”
Recent movements in queer and trans identity politics are carving out spaces for more fluid and transitory identities. Zaman, who identifies as non-binary queer, hopes American Boys will promote a message of inclusion and understanding for individuals who have a gender identity that differs from their sex at birth.
The book’s patriotic sounding title evokes the notion that within American popular culture masculinity belongs exclusively to cis men. American Boys unflinchingly rejects and challenges this belief.