Hucknall’s very own transgender activist continues to take the world by storm adding another accolade to her mantle this week.
Paris Lees, who grew up in the town and still has family living here, was named young Campaigning Journalist of the Year at a prestigious industry event – held at BAFTA – for her work to improve life for trans people.
The writer and television personality who has built up a reputation as the go-to person to speak about transgender issues was honoured with the special gold award at the MHP Communication’s 30 TO WATCH awards.
“This award is lovely on a personal level, but, more importantly, it validates a cause I’m so passionate about – human rights for trans people,” said Paris after receiving the award. “When I first transitioned, like many trans people, I was depressed and isolated.
“I looked to the media for inspiration and all I saw were people like me being ridiculed. Five years on and things are looking very different.”
Now in their fourth year, 30 To Watch is MHP Communications’ annual spotlight on top young media talent – picking out those already setting the news agenda through editorial, print, broadcast or digital reportage early on in their career.
Paris has campaigned for greater acceptance of diversity and trans people by writing for many national newspapers, appearing on TV to express her views and even appeared as a columnist on Question Time.
Her work is receiving national recognition and this latest award follows her topping of the Independent on Sunday’s 2013 Pink List, second place in the 2014 Rainbow List, and was awarded the Positive Role Model Award for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, bisexual and transgender) in the 2012 National Diversity Awards. She has also stepped over the threshold of Number 10 after being invited to a reception by the Prime Minister’s wife, Samantha Cameron.