A New Book About Transgender Teenagers Seeks to Uplift Their Stories (Exclusive)

In their new book ‘American Teenager,’ journalist Nico Lang documents the lives of transgender, nonbinary and genderfluid teenagers across the U.S.

<p>Christian Rogers; Eli Mock/Pace Taylor</p> Nico Lang and the cover of

Christian Rogers; Eli Mock/Pace Taylor

Nico Lang and the cover of 'American Teenager'

A new book about transgender teenagers aims to share their stories in their own voices.

Award-winning journalist Nico Lang has shared the cover of their new book, American Teenager, exclusively with PEOPLE. The book, which details the lived experiences of transgender, nonbinary and genderfluid youth across the U.S., is forthcoming this fall from Abrams Books.

American Teenager was the book that I needed to see in the world: One that privileges the complexities of joy and gives a platform to those who desperately need it during a dark, difficult time,” Lang tells PEOPLE.

<p>Eli Mock/Pace Taylor</p> 'American Teenager' by Nico Lang

Eli Mock/Pace Taylor

'American Teenager' by Nico Lang

Lang, the founder of Queer News Daily, has covered LGBTQ+ issues as a journalist for years. Throughout their career as a reporter, Lang has worked with the families of transgender youth, and wanted to document their stories, especially with the rise of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation across the United States.

Related: What's Going on with Anti-Trans Legislation? What You Need to Know and How You Can Help

“This year alone, more than 500 bills seeking to take away basic protections for LGBTQ+ people have been introduced across the U.S., and trans youth have been made the scapegoat of a far-right campaign to chip away at equality,” Lang says. “Amid that ongoing crusade, my goal was to give trans teens the opportunity, for once, to drive the conversation about their lives.”

Lang spent a year traveling across the country to document the daily lives of the book’s subjects and their families. The author went to a variety of places on that journey, from conservative areas of Florida to LGBTQ+ communities in California, per the book’s description, seeking to uplift the young voices that often go unheard.

“As the national debate over trans youth continues—seemingly without end—too few people have bothered to ask these kids for their opinions, whether about their gender, their right to participate in public life or even what they think about anything at all,” Lang says.

<p>Christian Rogers</p> Nico Lang

Christian Rogers

Nico Lang

While Lang was initially interested in the teenagers’ thoughts on LGBTQ+ and trans-rights issues, other topics proved to be just as important.

“Some of my favorite conversations documented in this book concerned not the fragile state of LGBTQ+ rights but topics ranging from the work of Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and whether the actor Michael Cera is cute,” Lang says.

Related: Dwyane Wade Advocates for Trans Community and Daughter Zaya amid Anti-LGBT Legislation: 'Focus on Acceptance'

Lang hopes the book provides a place for transgender teenagers to be who they are.

“What so many people who wish to wipe out the very existence of trans youth forget is that they aren’t boogeymen or political talking points,” the author says. “They are just kids, trying to figure out who they’re taking to prom this year and finish their homework in time to hang out with their friends. They’re still figuring it all out, and in American Teenager, I wanted to create a space where that’s not only permitted but celebrated.”

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American Teenager
will be published on Oct. 8 and is now available for pre-order.

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Read the original article on People.