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Published on Jan 16, 2019
Born and raised in Long Island, New York, Aydian Dowling always felt out of place. He grew up attending Catholic school and eventually asked his parents to transfer him to public school where he could dress and act more naturally. He came out as a lesbian soon after. “I felt in line with being a lesbian. It was A + B = C." he remembers "I was a girl who liked other girls and that made me a lesbian.”
When he was 20, Aydian still felt different and disconnected, even with other lesbians. Soon afterward he realized that he identified as a Trans man after a girl he was dating asked him if he’d ever wanted to be a boy. He searched for answers using Google and found a clip from the Maury daytime talk show where a man held up a photo of himself as a little girl and talked about how he transitioned. “That little three-minute clip was life-changing,” Dowling says."My issue my whole life was not about my sexuality, it was about my gender.”
With his course set, Aydian faced a pragmatic hurdle, how to pay for the expensive surgery, which was not covered by insurance. Ever resourceful, Aydian invested the $250 he had in the creation of his clothing company, Point5cc, to fund the operation. “I’m not a magician" he says "but I was able to raise the $5,900 in about 6 months.”
Aydian documented his own transition on YouTube as a way to voice his thoughts, fears, and successes; as well as offer a support mechanism for others looking to transition. His YouTube channel, A Lions Fears, quickly became popular and to date, has nearly 200 videos, reaches over 71k followers, and close to 7 million views. In 2011, Aydian was chosen as one of three LGBT persons to have their stories showcased on the Emmy Nominated It Gets Better Project on MTV. Aydian was also nominated to be on the cover of Men’s Health magazine and had around 40,000 votes to win the mag’s annual Ultimate Guy Search, 30,000 more than that of his closest rival, according to the contest leader board. He has also appeared twice on the Ellen show to share his ongoing story.
Aydian continues his mission to help others by answering hundreds of emails a month and documenting his ongoing transition. He also travels with his wife, Jenilee Dowling, discussing “The Transitioning Relationship” which goes over tips and techniques on how to keep relationships of all kinds blossoming during the hard times of transition. Now living in Oregon, their ongoing story will be chronicled in an original OnlyGood TV series, The Creation of Us.
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