Men’s Health‘s “Ultimate Guy” search is an annual contest dedicated to finding a cover model who “is fit and fearless, a doer who gives back and leads by example.” This year it looks like that prize could go to transgender activist and blogger Aydian Dowling, and he really sounds like he deserves it.
Dowling is a ripped and very hunky body builder who told People he got into fitness because he wanted his outer body to feel more masculine, and he started training other trans people in the hopes that physical fitness can help inspire body confidence.
“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,” he said. “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.”
The Ultimate Guy search will continue until June 15, and if Dowling maintains his significant lead in the competition, he will be on the cover of Men’s Health on November 25. That would make him the first transgender man on the cover of Men’s Health, which would be a pretty awesome achievement.
Dowling says he’s been stunned by the outpouring of support for his entry in the competition, and that he hopes to win as a way of representing the trans community and inspiring younger people who might be feeling lost or alone.
“I want to break the stereotype of what a man should or shouldn’t be,” he said. “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.”
Dowling is certainly fit and fearless, and a doer who gives back and leads by example, so he seems like he would be an absolutely excellent “Ultimate Guy” for this year’s competition.