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Bodybuilder hopes to be first trans man to compete professionally

”This community is fragile, and I try my best to instill strength into them,”
Photo credit:
Ajay Holbrook Instagram

At 20-years-old Ajay Holbrook is a man who knows what he wants and that's to become the world's first transgender male professional bodybuilder. 

His Instagram account is chock full of proud pictures that outline his sculpted physique, the results of which are no small task. 

According to Outsports, Holbrook wasn't always comfortable in his own skin, he came out as trans at the age of 13. 

In a recent article in Men’s Health, Holbrook talks about the struggles he faced even as a young man. 

His mother, Holly, says Ajay hated having his hair done and would pull his dresses off because he couldn’t stand wearing them. At his grandmother’s pool, in rural Hempstead, Texas, he once tried swimming with his shirt off, because that’s what the other boys did.

“She yelped,” Holbrook says. “She grabbed me, and she was like, ‘What are you doing, you’re a girl!’ I looked at her like, ‘What are you talking about?’”

When he played video games like the Sims and Grand Theft Auto, he would create his avatar as a ripped man with facial hair and tattoos.

Holbrook recalls his roots in Texas and having the support of his mother. 

When he was a senior in high school, Ajay started taking testosterone as part of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Transmasculine people (i.e. people who are assigned female at birth, but identify and present as more masculine) who take testosterone undergo a significant amount

of physical changes, including a decrease in chest size, fat loss in the hips and thighs, an increase in muscle definition in the arms and legs, an angular formation of the face, and thickening of the vocal cords, which deepens the voice.

For the first time, Ajay felt like his body aligned with his identity, the version of himself he always saw when he closed his eyes. “I saw muscles, I saw tattoos,” Holbrook says. He started documenting his fitness journey on Instagram and YouTube when he was 18. At first, he thought

his Instagram would be viewed as a typical fitness transformation account. But as he quickly amassed a following, he realized his posts carried additional importance: They were serving as inspiration for teenagers looking to transition.

You can read the rest of the Outsports article here

Holbrook is currently pursuing a modeling career and lives in Los Angeles. But his true passion is bodybuilding. That dream makes him an automatic sports role model who can also inspire non-athletic types. 

”This community is fragile, and I try my best to instill strength into them,” Holbrook says. “And if being a man means [physical] strength to you, then that’s what it should be.”