American Teenager: How Trans Kids Are Surviving Hate and Finding Joy in a Turbulent Era (Hardcover)

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Description


From an award-winning journalist comes a vivid and moving portrait of eight trans and nonbinary teenagers across the country, following their daily triumphs, struggles, and all that encompasses growing up trans in America today

“A master class in journalism as a force for change. Nico Lang cuts through the political ping-pong over transgender rights to surface the human stories that too often go ignored. Lang’s lucid and clear-eyed account of their lives offers an essential corrective, reminding us that there’s nothing more American than the freedom to be yourself.” —SAMANTHA ALLEN, author of Real Queer America
 
“Lang weaves this broad bleak terrain with warm insights and a clear immediacy of message. Expansive and compassionate.” ―GABE DUNN, New York Times bestselling author of I Hate Everyone But You

Media coverage tends to sensationalize the fight over how trans kids should be allowed to live, but what is incredibly rare are the voices of the people at the heart of this debate: transgender and gender nonconforming kids themselves. For their groundbreaking new book, journalist Nico Lang spent a year traveling the country to document the lives of transgender, nonbinary, and genderfluid teens and their families. Drawing on hundreds of hours of on-the-ground interviews with them and the people in their communities, American Teenager paints a vivid portrait of what it’s actually like to grow up trans today.

From the tip of Florida’s conservative panhandle to vibrant queer communities in California, and from Texas churches to mosques in Illinois, American Teenager gives readers a window into the lives of Wyatt, Rhydian, Mykah, Clint, Ruby, Augie, Jack, and Kylie, eight teens who, despite what some lawmakers might want us to believe, are truly just kids looking for a brighter future.

About the Author


Nico Lang (they/them) is a nonbinary award-winning journalist with over a decade of experience covering the transgender community’s fight for equality. Their work has appeared in major publications, including Rolling Stone, Esquire, the New York Times, Vox, the Wall Street Journal, Salon, Harper’s Bazaar, Time, The Washington Post, and the L.A. Times. Lang is the creator of Queer News Daily and previously served as the deputy editor for Out magazine, the news editor for Them, the LGBTQ+ correspondent for VICE, and the editor and cofounder of the literary journal In Our Words. Their industry-leading contributions to queer media have resulted in a GLAAD Media Award and 10 awards from the National Association of LGBTQ Journalists (NLGJA). Lang is also the first-ever recipient of the Visibility Award from the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF), an honor created to recognize their impactful contributions to reporting on the lives of LGBTQ+ people.

Praise For…


“An urgent and heartfelt chronicle of families under attack, American Teenager is a master class in journalism as a force for change. Nico Lang cuts through the political ping-pong over transgender rights to surface the human stories that too often go ignored. As rigorous as it is compassionate, this daring journey through the Heartland shows that love remains the best way to disarm fear. As right-wingers try to make boogeymen out of our most vulnerable, Lang’s lucid and clear-eyed account of their lives offers an essential corrective, reminding us that there's nothing more American than the freedom to be yourself.” 
— SAMANTHA ALLEN, author of Real Queer America

“The transgender children and their families who are finally given the megaphone in Nico Lang’s American Teenager love this country. Unfortunately, it so rarely loves them back. Lang weaves this broad bleak terrain with warm insights and a clear immediacy of message. In Lang’s pages, these families aren’t talking points bandied about on Capitol Hill or coastal elites out of touch with ‘real America.’ They are real America—and in Lang’s expansive and compassionate writing, they’d rather be stretching a dollar and going to soccer games than being forced onto an unnecessary political battlefield.”
— GABE DUNN, New York Times bestselling author of I Hate Everyone But You

“As a transgender woman who transitioned during childhood, American Teenager resonates deeply with me. With heartfelt empathy, Nico Lang uncovers the human stories overshadowed by political rhetoric, showcasing the struggles and resilience of transgender youth amidst adversity while simultaneously amplifying their voices, which are all too often silenced. In a society where ignorance and bigotry seek to vilify the most vulnerable among us, Lang’s sincere portrayal pulls back the curtain to unveil remarkable youth who simply want to be kids. As a child, I would often say, ‘Get to know us, you'll love us.’ American Teenager allows readers to meet these extraordinary kids along with their families and fall in love with their hearts, minds, strength, and, most of all, the courage to embrace their authentic identities and face the world as their true, beautiful selves. With raw honesty and emotional depth, Lang sheds light on their heartwarming journeys, intense challenges, life-changing moments, and the true meaning of unconditional love.”
— JAZZ JENNINGS, author of Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen

An evocative and authentic story of the love and resilience of transgender teens and their families. Lang's storytelling is intimate and illuminating, walking a tightrope between the complex narratives of trauma and joy, without ever leaning too heavily into one and discounting the importance of the other. Simultaneously heart-wrenching and heart-warming, American Teenager is an absolute must-read.”
— RODRIGO HENG-LEHTINEN, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equity
Product Details
ISBN: 9781419773822
ISBN-10: 1419773828
Publisher: Abrams Press
Publication Date: October 8th, 2024
Pages: 272
Language: English