When transgender vlogger and activist Aydian Dowling entered Men’s Health’s Ultimate Guy Search for a shot at being on the cover, he never imagined he’d receive such an outpouring of encouragement.
“It’s crazy,” the New York native, 27, tells PEOPLE. “It’s phenomenal, the amount of support it’s gotten – how many people have re-Tweeted and re-blogged and re-posted and liked and shared and commented and voted.”
Dowling currently has a very strong lead in the competition, which aims to find “a guy who is fit and fearless, a doer who gives back and leads by example” to be featured on the fitness mag’s cover.
“I think I would have laughed if someone said that in five years I was going to be in a competition to be on the cover of Men’s Health magazine,” says Dowling. “I would be like, ‘No way would you be putting me shirtless on a magazine!’ ”
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