Aydian Dowling was born and raised on long Island, New York. After originally identifying as a lesbian in his teens, a girlfriend had asked him if he ever thought of being a boy. Curious and having never thought about the possibility, Dowling took to google to discover what transgender was. Dowling saw a segment on the television show Maury where a man held up a picture of a little girl and revealed she was him before he transitioned. He credits the three minute clip he saw as the life changing moment where he realized who he was and decided to transition.
Dowling committed himself to sculpting his body so he can present in a more masculine way. Now a muscle bound hunk with washboard abs, he was asked to grace the cover of FTM (Female to Male) magazine back in February of 2015. It was this cover where he imitated a popular photo of Maroon 5’s Adam Levine that went absolutely viral on the Internet. After receiving a flood of emails encouraging him, he entered the Ultimate Men’s Health Guy Competition where the winner gets to grace its cover.
“PLEASE DO REMEMBER THAT THIS FIGHT FOR TRANSGENDER RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY, AND VISIBILITY IS NOT OVER! OUR COMMUNITY, TOGETHER WITH OUR ALLIES, HAVE MADE A BIG MARK IN THE MINDS AND HEARTS OF THE MAIN STREAM MEDIA. WE JOINED TOGETHER AND SHOWED THAT WE HAVE A VOICE THAT IS LOUD AND PROUD! LET’S CONTINUE THIS FIGHT AND TOGETHER WE WILL ALL BE EMBRACED FOR OUR JOURNEY TO AUTHENTICITY.”
With the momentum of his viral photo behind him and overwhelming support from the transgender community Dowling went on to receive 72,672 votes, tripling the total of 23,572 for the runner up. Though he was the winner of the popular vote the judges for Men’s Health chose Kentucky firefighter Tim Boniface as the overall winner. Though he did not make the November cover as the winner he did appear on the special edition cover with Boniface and the other runner ups. Dowling also appears in a full spread along with his wife Jenilee. Disappointed by the loss but proud of the accomplishment, Dowling took to social media stating, “Please do remember that this fight for Transgender rights, inclusivity, and visibility is not over! Our community, together with our allies, have made a big mark in the minds and hearts of the main stream media. We joined together and showed that we have a voice that is LOUD and PROUD! Let’s continue this fight and together we will all be embraced for our journey to authenticity.”
Married now for three years, the 27 year old Dowling currently lives in Eugene, Oregon where he runs a transgender clothing company called Point 5cc and a YouTube channel called BeefHeads Fitness which focuses on health and fitness for transgender men. The company sells binders for transgender men and the proceeds help to sponsor gender confirmation surgeries for those whose insurance won’t cover it or who cannot afford it.
We salute Aydian Dowling for moving the cause forward and giving hope to all of us!
Here is more on Aydian from his appearance on Ellen prior the announcement of the winner of the Ultimate Men’s Health Guy competition.
Aydian’s story is heartwarming and inspiring. Just think of the transgender kid who can now look at him to know it is possible to be the person they were meant to be and that they can reach any goal they put their mind to. Congratulations Aydian and thank you for moving our cause forward.