A Hucknall journalist has beaten sports presenter Clare Balding and human rights activist Peter Tatchell to top this year’s Pink List.
The 14th annual Pink List, published by the Independent on Sunday, lists 101 of the most influential lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender figures in the UK.
And it was our very own Paris Lees who was ranked the highest amongst 1,300 nominations for her spearheading campaigning and determination to change attitudes towards transgender people, especially in the media.
“I was so shocked when I heard the news, I couldn’t quite believe it,” said the award-winning journalist and presenter. “I was very emotional
“In the past I thought transition was something to be ashamed of but this accolade is recognition for the work I am doing,” added Paris who has worked on documentaries for Channel Four and Radio 1. “It also energises me to continue making changes for transgender people.”
Paris, who was born male and is now female, has come a long way since her working class Hucknall upbringing.
“When I was growing up you were more likely to see an alien than a transgender person,” said Paris whose family still live in the town. “It has been an extraordinary journey and there has been many ups and down along the way.”
Paris, who is editor of META magazine, is based in London and has been instrumental in changing the attitudes towards transgender people by challenging the media’s portrayal of them.
“It’s simply about seeing us as real people and treating us with respect,” added Paris. “There’s more important things in life than being like everyone else.”
For more information here are some websites: Link to pink list www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/the-independent-on-sundays-pink-list-2013-8876183.html
Useful advice sites for families and LGBT people: www.lgbt.co.uk
Help and Support for all at www.beaumontsociety.org.uk/