Portland, July 26th, 2015. Cascade AIDS Project (CAP) hosted the fourth annual “Bat ‘n Rouge” softball tournament and the names of the teams had a real TV tone: The Golden Girls, Baywatch, Orange is the New Black, and The Big Bang Theory! The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Aydian Dowling, (on the right) one of most prominent faces in the trans visibility movement. The family-friendly tournament featured drag queens, music, and general hilarity at Erv Lind Stadium in Normandale Park. Bat ‘n Rouge raises funds to help those impacted by HIV/AIDS.
Aydian is From Eugene and was a recent contender for the cover of Men’s Health magazine. He was also recently featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. (More about his story below)
The “Bat ‘n Rouge” softball tournament was hosted by Portland drag legends Carla Rossi and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were cheerleaders. The tournament is the vehicle though the fun is anticipated to come from the good-natured spectacle of the characters, peppered with comedic relief and spicy banter. The goal was to raise $20,000.
About Aydian Dowling from Men’s Health:
Nearly 1,000 men entered this year’s Ultimate Men’s Health Guy Search, all with a story of personal transformation to share. But Aydian Dowling, one of the 10 semifinalists in the contest, has a transformation tale that’s a bit unlike any other contestant’s.
The 28-year-old from Eugene, Oregon is vying to become the first transgender man to be on the cover of Men’s Health—a feat that would have seemed unthinkable 25, 10, and even 2 years ago. But in 2015, Caitlyn Jenner has undergone a male-to-female transition, Amazon’s trans-centric series Transparent is the reigning Golden Globes winner for best comedy, and trans actors have prominent roles in major movies and TV shows, like Laverne Cox in Orange Is the New Black.
Dowling, who won the readers’ voting portion of the Ultimate Guy contest and its reserved spot in the top 10, is hoping to make a similar wave. “Having a trans person on the cover would tell people that no matter who you are, you can be the man you want to be,” he says. “It’s fully possible if you put the time and effort and balance it takes to find the man in you.” (Want to know who else made the cut? Meet the Top 10 Ultimate Men’s Health Guys.)
It took 21 years for Dowling to find that man. Dowling was born female, and says “there were definitely signs” that he identified as male at an early age. “I just wanted to act a certain way,” he says, “but I was told that was not how girls act.”
At 13, Dowling developed a crush on a girl, and at 16, had come out as a lesbian to friends and family. By 21, he was dressing in masculine clothes, but it wasn’t until his then-girlfriend asked the pivotal question—“Have you ever wanted to be a boy?”—that Dowling gave any thought to being transgender. – Men’s Health