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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > March 2016 > Aydian Dowling

Aydian Dowling

Aydian Dowling has had one of the most inspiring journeys we’ve ever heard. Growing up as a suicidal lesbian in New York, to becoming a beacon of hope for people of all genders and sexualities around the world, and even being the first trans man to ever grace the cover of Men’s Health. And GT, more importantly. From homophobia to hormones, from married life to Ellen DeGeneres, this is his remarkable story.
IMAGES brian davies

what a MIGHTY good MAN

POST-PRODUCTION lee faircloth

A my Winehouse. Kurt Cobain. Janis Joplin.

All members of the infamous 27 Club – a tragically exclusive bunch of iconic stars who left this world far too early. As the name suggests, at the age of 27.

Aydian Dowling always assumed he was going to be a card-carrying member of this club. Growing up as a teenage girl – oh, that’s right, Aydian is a trans man, by the way – he was so consumed with mental health problems and bouts of depression, he couldn’t foresee any scenario where he’d live past that age. He’d already logged in his head that he was going to check out early.

“I remember I was at community college,” Aydian tells us at his home in Oregon, “but I was failing. Everyone was deciding what they wanted to do with their lives and where they wanted to go, but I was convinced I wouldn’t live past 27. I was very depressed as a teenager – especially in those young years growing up as a girl who liked girls. I came out as a lesbian at 16, and had a lot of pride in identifying that way, but I was definitely more masculine than the average girl. And even though I was an out and proud lesbian, I was suicidal and felt really depressed.”

Now 28-years-old, Aydian’s own inner turmoil and struggle with his sexual identity is a long-running thread throughout his story. He knew he was different from as young as eight, when he had a crush on his teacher. “But I wasn’t thinking sexually,” he says. “I just really liked her and I wanted to be around her.”

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About Gay Times

Trans pioneer Aydian Dowling is this months cover star and inside he gives us the lowdown on his amazing journey so far. His fascinating story is accompanied by an exclusive photo shoot. Also in this issue: Gay shame. What is it, and do you have it? Brian Friedman - The choreographer and X-Factor and I'm A Celebrity star catches us up on where he's been, and where he's going next. Remembering the gay and bi men who changed the world. Jess Glynne. YouTuber Calum McSwiggan tells us whe he's NOT sorry about his porn past. Ruby Wax. Could you be arrested for owning poppers? Rikki Beadle-Blair. 12 things that will come between you and your boyfriend. Hansal Mehta. BFI Flare Festival - what do you need to book for? Travel to: Chicago and Lisbon. And don't forget all our regular features: Fitness with Charlie King with Chris Jones. Date night with Edd Kimber and the Gastro Gays. Ask Aled. Dear Josh. Michelle Visage. Benjamin Cohen. Michael Alig. Modern Family. Positive Luke. PJ Brennan. The Guyliner. Last but not least, enjoy three bonus videos in this digital edition.