Paris Lees

Paris Lees

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Journalist, Broadcaster and Campaigner

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Synopsis

Having been a columnist for newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian, Vice, and now Vogue, Paris is seen by many as the voice of a generation. Known for her award-winning journalism and work as an anti-bullying campaigner, in speeches she shares her own story of resilience from a difficult adolescence to the pressures of being so publicly open.

Biography

Paris Lees is a journalist, broadcaster and campaigner. She was the first openly trans person to present shows on Radio 1 and Channel 4, and the first to appear as a panellist on BBC One’s Question Time. She founded the pioneering META magazine, is a Contributing Editor at British Vogue, and is a prominent campaigner for wider rights and recognition of trans people as well as an anti-bullying campaigner.

Following a difficult young adulthood, Paris was arrested and imprisoned for burglary. Prison proved to be a turning point and shortly after release Paris enrolled to study English at university, and to openly identify as female. Since then she has worked and written for Gay Times (where she also acted as Assistant Editor), The Guardian, Telegraph and Independent. On Radio 1 she presented an edition of The Hate Debate, as well as her own programme My Transgender Punk Rock Story.

Paris has worked extensively with broadcast and print media to highlight and remove transphobic and insensitive material. She works with the organisation All About Trans that brings media professionals into direct contact with trans people, and was even cited by the Independent on Sunday’s Pink List judges as having noticeably improved the Daily Mail’s coverage of trans issues. Paris is also the author of the acclaimed memoir What It Feels Like for a Girl, described as "fresh, original and heartbreaking", it's a touching and poignant, funny, inspiring and brutal recounting of Paris's teenage years.

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