Transgender bodybuilder Aydian Dowling sat down with Ellen DeGeneres this week to discuss what it means to be “average” today.
“If I get on the cover of Men’s Health magazine, I will be the first transgender male on the cover of Men’s Health magazine, ever,” he told DeGeneres.
Dowling, 27, is currently the frontrunner in a competition to be on the cover of Men’s Health magazine.
"Being on that cover will question the new average,” he said. “What is average, you know?” Getting the cover, he said, would break a barrier.
Dowling told DeGeneres his path to finding his authentic self has been “a little different story” compared with most transgender people he’s met. He transitioned after coming out as a lesbian.
“It felt like I was a lesbian because I was a girl who liked girls,” said Dowling, who came out to his parents as gay at 17.
It wasn’t until he was 20, he said, when an ex-girlfriend asked if he had ever “thought about being a boy,” that he considered changing his gender.
“Once I found out what—emotionally—it meant to be transgender, that was it, that was the piece [that was missing] because I didn’t know it existed,” Dowling told DeGeneres.