Men’s Health “Ultimate Guy” winner will be announced in less than a month. Aydian Dowling has all stars to be the first transgender male featured on the cover of world’s largest men’s magazine. TheFishh got a chance to talk with this amazing guy about his plans, transgender community and a bit more. Enjoy.
– That’s no secret you will be the first transgender male on the cover of Men’s Health.
– Haha! I wish I could officially say I will be on the cover, but that has yet to be made official! It will be in October! (fingers crossed!).
– Did you expect such support when you signed up for the Men’s Health “Ultimate Guy” contest?
– I had received a few emails in a short period of time telling me I should apply for this Mens Health contest – I figured, if these guys are telling me they will support me, I am going to do it! I had no idea I would get so much support from the community as well as outside when I first entered this contest!
– What does it mean to you to be on the cover of such popular and established men’s magazine?
– If I get the cover of Men’s Health it will just be so monumental in so many ways! From making LGBT and especially Transgender history as being the first TransMale cover model, to just affirming that the path I set out on 5.5 years ago when I came out as Transgender and decided to live my life fully and set out to be a man people could be proud of. It would be a moment that could never be taken away from me, and from my amazing community.
– As I know, you have your own clothing company. How did you start it?
– I started Point 5cc when I was trying so hard to save money for my Top Surgery (removal of breast tissue to sculpt a more masculine chest) but had failed time and time again with creating a good profitable idea. Jenilee, my wife, and I had received a check from It Gets Better for our participation in their first ever MTV and LOGO special. It was a check for $250.00. I knew right then that I had to make $250.00 into the $5900.00 I needed for my surgery! I sat on the check for a couple of days and I thought to myself one morning how we as a community don’t have any of our own prideful clothing. That is when I told Jenilee I was going to take the check and start printing tee shirts to sell and save for my Top Surgery. Point 5cc was born organically, out of a desire to feel pride in my own body. I hope our shirts and clothing can help others feel that pride.
– Point 5cc already has a Binder (conceals breast tissue to form a more masculine chest) Exchange program where people can send in their still working binders and we give them out for free with a donation to our surgery fund (aka any purchase off our website). We wanted to create a program for Trans Feminine Folks too! Point 5cc is not a Trans Masculine company. We are a Transgender loving but open to all people company. We are still collecting breast forms and we hope to be starting our program officially for those in need, early 2016!
– On your website you have a special section “Surgery Fund”, the mission of which is to help individuals who need a sex reassignment surgery. How people can participate in your program?
– Our Surgery Fund is open to anyone who is over 18, has been working hard to obtain their surgery goals, and identifies under the umbrella of Transgender. Our fund is open then entire month of November for an unlimited amount of applicants! We are always taking donations for the Surgery Fund year round and offer sponsorship opportunities for those interested.
– What is the average cost for a sex reassignment surgery?
– Top Surgery can run anywhere from the low 5ks to the higher 9ks. For bottom surgery it is a different story. Here in the USA it can run in the averages of 40-50k (it all varies depending on the kind of surgery you have). There is a cheaper option to go out of the country too.
– Do you remember your first surgery? What was it?
– My first, and only surgery to date, was amazing! It was my Top Surgery, and don’t get me wrong it is a long process which you can find on my youtube channel. It was a 2-3 hour procedure with 7 days of bandages and then another 6-8 weeks of healing followed by 9-10 months of recovering fully and having my full motion back.
– What was the most difficult part of your transition?
– I would say is the misunderstanding from others outside of the Transgender community. If there was more love and compassion for Transgender people we would have less suicides, killings, and more people feeling comfortable to come out.
– In fact, there are many transgender celebrities in the world, for example Chaz Bono, Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Lana Wachowski that were already famous long before Caytlin Jenner. In your opinion, why the transgender issue became so popular right after Caytlin came out and not when the other wonderful members of the community opened up to the public?
– I think that TIME magazine hit the nail on the head saying it was the transgender tipping point. Caitlyn Jenner reaches an audience that is beyond “Orange Is the New Black”, Top Selling books, and famous singing mothers. Caitlyn reaches the baby boomers who routed for her in the Olympics all the way down to my 13 year old niece who knows more about the Kardashian’s I’m not sure I want to admit! She reaches this audience that just could not ignore her. This is not to say that others who have came out before her where not just as groundbreaking!
– There is a lot of stereotypes regarding gay and transgender people. What stereotypes do you hate most of all and why?
– The stereotype I hate the most is that Transgender people are sexual deviants. That one gets to me because it just reminds me that all people see is sex and not gender. It isn’t about sex and sexuality, it is about gender and identity.
– What would you say to those boys and girls who just started to identify themselves as transgender, but they still afraid to come out?
– I would tell those kids who are just starting to identify to find an ally. Having someone to talk to and vent to and just kind of ‘get you’ can save you from those long nights and sometimes longer days. It sounds corny but only because it’s true, it gets better. If you want it to.
– You have a wonderful wife. How did you meet each other?
– Yes, my wife Jenilee is amazing! She is a Spiritual Healer with an MSW and has her own company. She has helped me grow as a human since the first day I met her! We met online actually, through our YouTube channels! Ironically enough!
– How did you make the proposal?
– I proposed to Jenilee on the beach, we were living in Florida at the time, and the sun was setting the birds were singing and luckily, she said yes!
– What has been the happiest day of your life?
– The happiest day of my life has happened too many times to count! I know that isn’t a real answer but seriously, I hope I never have the happiest moment of my life!
– You’ve been in both female and male bodies. What physical pluses and minuses would you highlight for each sex?
– I don’t think I can actually make a good comparison to this. You must remember I was in a female body that I didn’t like. I wasn’t living my life to the fullest, if anything I was trying to escape life!
– What do you think is the best way to find a balance/harmony with yourself?
– The best way to find balance and harmony with yourself is to be honest with yourself. Find what you love and talk about it. FInd what you hate and talk about it. Love more of what you love about yourself and love more of what you hate. I found my balance when I learned that my life was worth living just as much as anyone else. I started to change the things i didn’t like about myself until they became things I liked. I still have things about myself that challenge my love, or choices I make that challenge my self worth, but in the end I strive to be the most authentic me.