04/15/2015 04:42 EDT | Updated 04/16/2015 04:59 EDT

Aydian Dowling, Trans Activist, Could Front Men's Health Magazine

Aydian Dowling may be about to make history.

The 27-year-old trans activist from New York, now living in Eugene, Ore., is currently leading a contest to front the November 2015 cover of Men's Health magazine.

The publication wants to feature someone who is "fit and fearless, a doer who gives back and leads by example" as part of its "Ultimate Guy Search."

If he wins, he would be the first out trans man to front the publication.

"As a transgender male, having a healthy body and mind is my ultimate goal to find peace within my soul," he told the magazine as part of the contest.

He was leading the field with just over 25,000 votes as of Wednesday afternoon, almost three times that of his nearest competitor.

"It's phenomenal, the amount of support it's gotten," Dowling told People.

A photo posted by Aydian Dowling (@alionsfear) on

Dowling came out as a lesbian while in his teen years, and later identified as transgender. A turning point in his life came when he watched a "Maury" clip concerning a man who showed an image of a young girl, then revealed it was him, prior to his transition, The Daily Beast reported.

A photo posted by Aydian Dowling (@alionsfear) on

In 2011 he started clothing company Point5cc in order to raise money for an operation to remove breast tissue.

But he has kept the company going, supporting the trans community by providing people with free, donated "binders," or "chest compression garments" that create a flat appearance, according to its website.

He's competing in the contest because he wants to "break the stereotype of what a man should or shouldn't be," he told People. "I think it would be so affirming to young kids who are lost right now and depressed to see somebody on a magazine, to see if I can do it, they can do it too," he said.

The contest ends in September.

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