Meet the Transgender Man Who Could Be a Men's Health Magazine Cover Model

Aydian Ethan Dowling is leading a contest to cover Men's Health magazine.

ByABC News
April 16, 2015, 12:51 PM
Transgender New Yorker Aydian Dowling hopes to become a cover model for "Men's Health" through their Ultimate Guy Search.
Transgender New Yorker Aydian Dowling hopes to become a cover model for "Men's Health" through their Ultimate Guy Search.
Aydian Ethan Dowling/Facebook

— -- A transgender man could end up a cover model for Men's Health after thousands of votes have poured in for the magazine's cover contest.

Aydian Ethan Dowling of Eugene, Oregon, is blowing out the competition for Men's Health’s "Ultimate Guy Search" with more than 34,000 votes. It's more than 25,000 votes than the contestant in second place.

The nationwide contest aims to find a man who "possesses all of the qualities that make up today's well rounded, active, health conscious and thoughtful guy."

Judges are "looking for a guy who is fit and fearless; a doer who gives back and leads by example," according to the contest site.

Dowling, a transgender man and activist, has documented his story on his YouTube page and Facebook in an effort to help other transgender people grapple with their body or transition.

"The battle that can come with the mirror can be completely dark and engulfing," Dowling wrote on his contestant page. "As a Transgender Male, having a healthy body and mind is my ultimate goal to find peace within my soul. Although I may always have some kind of battle with my body, I continue to work every day for a happy peace within."

Dowling, who also started a clothing line to support transgender people, says he stays fit by heading out into nature.

"On days ‘off’ I love to go with my wife, Jenilee, out on hikes around the Pacific North West," Dowling wrote in on his contest page. "Although I also love my day to day routines, smashing through thresholds and sculpting the body, there is nothing quite like the beauty being outside can do to a person. I always have this sense of discovery and drive through my hikes that is unlike anything in the gym or the track."

Dowling, who has been writing about the contest on his Facebook page, wrote he was amazed when he quickly emerged as a top contender to win the contest.

He has not responded to an ABC News request for comment.

A spokeswoman for Men's Health magazine said they were excited to see the response to Dowling take off.

“We are excited that the Ultimate Men’s Health Guy contest is resonating with so many people," the statement read. "Men's Health is a profound agent of positive change in the lives of all men. We can't wait to see how Aydian finishes with the reader vote--an important piece of the overall criteria--and how he fares with our panel of judges.”

It would be a first for the magazine.

Voters have until June 21 to make their mark, which is when Men's Health will decide who makes it to the next round of the competition. The winner will not only get to be featured the cover of the magazine but will also win a year's supply of the protein products.