The transgender and anti-bullying activist and writer, Paris Lees, is among the women shot for British Vogue to commemorate 100 years since women in the UK were first allowed to vote.
Lees is featured alongside other prominent British women and is believed to be the first openly transgender woman to be profiled by the title. This is the third issue of British Vogue to be edited by Edward Enninful, who is himself a first, by becoming the first gay, black editor in the magazine’s history. He’s been credited with promoting greater diversity in its models and contributors.
Posting to her own social media, Lees tweeted:
“Thank you @Edward_Enninful for including me in @BritishVogue, and this special moment, with these strong, smart and inspiring women. As we celebrate 100 years since women have been able to vote in the UK, let’s make sure we’re fighting for ALL women. Our diversity is our strength.
Look how far we’ve come. It’s insane that I could be in Vogue. A trans kid from a council estate. People at school told me I’d never be a girl, would never be pretty enough, would never be accepted WELL HERE I AM BEING CELEBRATED AS A WOMAN – IN VOGUE FFS!“
Lees is not the first trans person to be photographed by British Vogue. April Ashley modeled for the magazine in the 50s but was not openly trans and the same fate befell fellow model Caroline Cossey who she was outed in the 80s.
The feature has prompted many messages of support, but also many social media comments scathing of her inclusion.
Lees her self took to Twitter to thank everyone for their feedback.
“Thanks for all the support today I’m sorry if I’ve not had a chance to reply to everyone or favourite your kind words yet. I knew doing this would leave me open to all the hate the internet has to offer and I’m just grateful it’s been drowned out with love.“
Everybody say LOVE! ConDRAGulations, Paris!
(Photo, Julia Hetta for Vogue; via Gay Star News)