This is so PHENOMENAL!
Men's Health has a contest to find the Ultimate Men's Health Guy, and this year might have been the best yet!
That's because, among the five finalists, was Aydian Dowling (above) who's a transgender man!
Related: Watch A Transgender Youth's Entire Transition From Female To Male In Just 30 Seconds!
The magazine's Editor-in-Chief, Bill Phillips, spoke on the decision saying:
"Aydian got us thinking about what it means to be a man in 2015. He's become a leading voice of the transgender community and we feel privileged to share his story and to count him as a member of the Men's Health family."
We think that's such an incredible viewpoint to take and wish more people saw things that way!
Though it was Tim Boniface, a firefighter and EMT, who ultimately won the contest, we couldn't be more thrilled with MH's accepting ways and inclusion of Aydian.
Aydian took to Instagram to post a picture of the magazine cover and address the contest saying:
"We made history today! We have the FIRST EVER Transgender Male representation in Mens Health, a mainstream men's magazine! This opens the door for more and more opportunities to be seen and heard in our future as a community.
Change happens in layers and this is a huge layer we have peeled back! The doors opened with this Collectors Edition cover! I am grateful, proud, and humbled by being the one our community and supporters chose to be the representation for Transgender Men today.
We are on that cover- as men.
It is important we do not focus on negativity in our time of hurting. I was told over and over how I do not deserve to be in this magazine. Everyday, over the last 6 months, new comments emails and tags on how a Transgender man is not a man- but there we are. Respected by these other 4 men, as well as Mens Health - as men. It wasn't the cover- but that isn't our journey. Our journey is the one that will unfold before us.
You can hurt- be angry- or mad, those are all relative feelings. But use those feelings to feel empowered to keep on pushing for our rights and equality as Transgender Individuals.
You have not seen the last of us."
We couldn't be more thrilled for you, Aydian, and all you've accomplished so far.
We're bummed you lost but can't wait to see what you do next to inspire others!
[Image via thequeerclub/Instagram/Men's Health.]
Tags: health, inspiration, instagram, lgbt, transgender