For transgendering folks, critical mass is everything. The movement itself is verging on critical mass. Trans-pioneers are popping up everywhere, from television to fashion runways — and now magazine covers. Aydian Dowling, a bodybuilder and trans-man from Eugene, Oregon, who already graces the April cover of FTM (short for female to male), is in the running to appear on the November cover of Men’s Health. The major fitness magazine is currently conducting a reader poll (voting closes June 21), with Dowling in the lead by more than a few inches.
“As a transgender male, having a healthy body and mind is my ultimate goal to find peace within my soul,” he wrote in his submission. “Having a trans person on the cover would tell people that no matter who you are, you can be the man you want to be…I think it would blow minds. I think it would be so affirming to young kids who are lost right now and depressed, to see somebody on a magazine, to see if I can do it, they can do it, too.”
Disarmingly frank about his transition story, Dowling tells the magazine his first dose of hormone replacement therapy occurred in 2009 and he’s continued injecting testosterone each week. In 2012, he had his breasts removed in a procedure called top surgery, but hasn’t set about enhancing the bottom. At least not surgically; the hormones have done some enhancing. “I don’t have a vagina,” he confirms, candidly. “People don’t have a problem when you call your penis ‘Mr. Winky,’ but when I call what I have a penis, some have a problem with that.”
Dowling runs two YouTube channels, ALionsFears and Beefheads Fitness, and donates a portion of the profits from his clothing company, Point 5cc, to trans men who need financial assistance for their top surgeries.
Watch Aydian Dowling’s transformation in this compilation video…
for FTM magazine