New York native Aydian Dowling now holds a strong lead in the voting. Looking at him--and hearing of his desire to give back to his community-- it's not hard to understand why. Still, he's humbled by the support he's received. Five years ago, he says, he "would have laughed" if someone had suggested that he'd be in such a competition. "No way would you be putting me shirtless on a magazine" is what he probably would have told the editors of the magazine.
Now, since you're reading this blog, you've probably guessed the reason why I'm writing about him: Yes, he's a trans man. And one of the reasons why he took up body-building, he said, was to build his self-confidence during his transition.
He is sharing his love of body-building with other transgender people in the hope that it will build their self-confidence as it did his. Also, he says, he wants to "break the stereotype of what a man should or shouldn't be".
He sounds like the man for the job.