A three-year odyssey across the United States to document the lives of trans men reaches bookshelves this month.
American Boys by photographer Soraya Zaman presents what its publisher describes as ‘intimate portraits of the transmasculine community.’
Zaman is an Australian non-binary, queer photographer based in New York. Through their work, they primarily explore notions of sexuality and gender.
Reflecting on the collection of 96 photos, Zaman says: ‘The binary days and the antiquated stereotypes of what it means to be born a girl or boy, are finally coming undone.
‘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.’
Unique stories and distinct stages of transition
Zaman travelled to 21 states to photograph and interview trans men aged between 18 and 35. Their subjects were each in distinct stages of transition. Zaman also includes their Instagram names.
Zaman believe that social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter have helped to unite and change conversations around trans and non-binary genders.
Besides presenting their subjects’ stories, American Boys also includes essays and a timeline on the advancement of LGBTI rights in the US. Its publication coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
Many regard the riots as a key moment in the LGBTI rights movement in the US. They resulted in the birth of the modern Pride movement.
Trans military ban and reaching out for support
However, American Boys’ publication also coincides with more concerning developments. Last week, to the dismay of many, President Donald Trump’s ban on openly transgender troops serving in the US military came into effect. The ban could potentially impact 13,000 serving troops.
‘The transgender military ban is a devastating blow to all trans individuals who have served, currently serving and those who were looking to join,’ Zaman told Gay Star News.
‘It’s also a further affront to the transgender community at large. And everybody who believes in basic human rights.
‘People who are affected by this ban, please reach out to community, friends and family who support and care for you. And if you know someone affected, check in to see if they are OK.’
See more images below
All images copyright of Soraya Zaman from the book American Boys published by Daylight Books.