Upworthy by Matt Orr
Two guys want us to start seeing each other differently.
Warning: partial nudity.
This is Jason and Aydian. They are great friends.
Aydian is married to a wonderful woman, and Jason is engaged. They both have really cool jobs (I’ll get into that in a minute) and good friends. And in July, they’ll be working together.
Jason owns FTM Magazine. Aydian is the (mostly nude) cover model for the magazine’s July issue.
FTM is shorthand for transitioning from “female to male.”
When Aydian needed money for his transition therapy, he created a stealth clothing company called Point 5cc. It highlighted transgender commonalities to create a sense of pride for the community. Jason got word of the company and featured Aydian on the April cover.
Both Jason and Aydian were assigned female at birth but have undergone transition therapy.
Before and during Jason’s transition, he thought a lot about his body. He was insecure.
During his transition, something occurred to him. “I grew up embarrassed to be in locker rooms and public showers. And finally, during my transition, with just one hand, I could actually hide the fact that I was ever trans at all. Then I realized the idea of what I was hiding under my hands isn’t what we should be concerned with. Only my fiancé and I should be concerned with that.”
Jason posed mostly nude with his newfound concept of “self” in mind for a Planned Parenthood photo shoot. That made him think about other people going through the transition process, so he reached out to Jason.
Both Jason and Aydian wanted to be a tool for equality, so they took the photo shoot a step further — and respectfully mimicked an iconic photo of Adam Levine.
Jason told me:
“Aydian’s body sorta looks like Adam Levine’s body. Society sees Adam’s body type very ‘sexy.’ I wanted to show everyone that bodies come in all sorts of different shapes, sizes. And sexy can mean different things to different people.”
“Some areas of my body used to represent everything I’m not. Now they represent everything that I am. If just one person sees this and thinks, ‘That’s how I feel too — I thought I was alone,’ we’ve done our job.”
Sexiness is not about our body parts. It’s not our identity.