Transgender Finalist Aydian Dowling Leads the Pack in 'Men's Health' Magazine's Search for the 'Ultimate Guy'

by Raphael Chestang 3:50 PM PDT, August 21, 2015
Playing Transgender Finalist Aydian Dowling Leads the Pack in 'Men's Health' Magazine's Search for the 'Ultimate Guy'

Men's Health magazine's Ultimate Guy Search presented by Mankind Ultimate is on, and this year could bring an interesting twist.

ET caught up with five of the finalists in the nationwide search, including 27-year-old transgender male Aydian Dowling.

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"I was biologically born a female but I identify as a male," said Aydian, who is ranked first on the leaderboard. "If I was the first transgender male to land the cover of Men's Health, it would really be a turning point for transgender people in the media today."

As for how big that turning point would be, Aydian says readers, “would be able to see somebody who kind of defeated the odds. I put my heart and soul into my transition and becoming authentic and living the life that was truly mine because I started to feel worthy of life.”

Aydian has the support of one his fellow competitors, 35-year-old military veteran Danny Farrar, who called out a recent transphobic meme about Caitlyn Jenner.

"The fact that I'm in the military, you get a lot of these memes that go around with Caitlyn, for example. And they talk about well that isn't courage, this isn't courage," Danny says. "How sad would it be if only one type of courage mattered. As far as I'm concerned if that’s the life they want to live and he feels like he identifies as a man, so be it. It's not my place to judge another man."

Aydian and Danny's remaining competition includes firefighter and paramedic Tim Boniface, 36, educator Omari Grey, 35, and police officer Adam Wheeler, 34.

And all of the guys make a strong case for the title.

Danny spends his days helping other veterans who are struggling with PTSD, while Tim left a banking job to work in emergency services after 9/11.

"I worked in a bank across from the Pentagon," Tim said. "We were evacuated, and it just hit real close to home. It all just impacted me. It was a motivating force of change in my life."

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Children are a source of motivation for Omari, and he's dedicated his life to helping kids in the D.C. area end their cycle of poverty.

Before joining law enforcement, Adam won a bronze medal for wrestling in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

"It would be a huge honor just to not only get the cover but also, hopefully use my story to inspire other people and give back," Adam said.

Whoever wins the distinction could have quite the career ahead of them. Last year's winner, Noah Galloway, went on to finish third on Dancing With the Stars.

Watch the video for more.