(#9) TransActivism: Aydian Dowling

from @ALionsFear on IG, March, 2017

Who: Aydian Dowling
(Tweet: @AydianDoyling / IG: @ALionsFear)

Aydian gained visibility and a following in 2015 when he became a fan favorite to win Men’s Health Magazine’s “Ultimate Health Guy” contest. Even though Aydian didn’t win the contest, he won a spot on the cover, becoming one of the first transgender men to do so. Dubbed “The Pioneer,” Aydian’s popularity thrust him into the spotlight and granted him the opportunity to promote visibility for the trans-community and converse with other activists through mediums like YouTube. He  attended VidCon this year and met other content creators like Tyler Oakley and was part of a panel about Gender Identity.

Significance: “Aydian got us thinking about what it means to be a man in 2015,” Men’s Health Editor-in-Chief Bill Phillips says. “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” (Out.com)

Sharing his story is just what Aydian has done. From every part of his social media platform, Aydian has chosen to be vulnerable and honest about a deeply personal journey – transitioning. He has talked openly about being on testosterone and his surgeries, his health and fitness plans, his long-term relationship with his now wife, and so much more.

Often times the barriers between hetero-normative society and  LGBTQ persons or anyone deemed as “the other” is simply the fact that humans shun or shy away from what they do not understand. What is crucial about Aydian’s “brand” of activism and advocacy is that he has created a place where people can learn and feel safe. All the while, he continues to use this platform to raise money for causes that benefit the community.

Men’s Health, Nov, 2015

 

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