Could This Man Be Men’s Health’s First Transgendered Cover Model?

Above: Transgender vlogger and activist Aydian Dowling leads Men's Health's cover model competition

Men’s Health annual search for the “Ultimate Man” kicked off in March, and already there is a clear leader. 27-year old activist and vlogger, Aydian Dowling is absolutely destroying the competition, currently leading the second place contestant by almost 20,000 votes.

The winner of the search will be on the cover of Men’s Health’s December issue, and should be “fit and fearless, a doer who gives back and leads by example.” Who better than Dowling, a transgendered man who after turning to fitness to build confidence through his own transition, created the Youtube channel Beef Heads Fitness to help inspire other transgendered men to do the same.

Dowling told People magazine, “I started bodybuilding because I wanted my outer body to feel more masculine like my inner soul does, so I started training and it really just changed my whole life. I started to feel better. You’re forced in front of a mirror to make sure that you’re doing an exercise properly, and after five days a week in front of a mirror, you start to get used to your body. You start to appreciate it.”

Aydian Dowling recreates naked Adam Levine photo for FTM Magazine

You may also recognize Dowling as the guy who recreated the famous photo of Adam Levine naked with his wife’s hands covering his package. That photo shoot was done for FTM Magazine, which Dowling is on the cover of this month.

Dowling believes winning the Men’s Health “Ultimate Man” search would be a victory for the transgender community as a whole. “I want to break the stereotype of what a man should or shouldn’t be,” he says. “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.”

While he never expected such a positive and supportive reaction to his entry, he’s excited for the opportunity to show the world what being transgendered really is. If Men’s Health is looking for a guy who not only works hard every day for the body he wants, but helps others get inspired to do the same, there’s no one more worthy than Aydian Dowling.

You can vote for Aydian on the Men’s Health website until June 21th.

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