Paris Lees
Trans Journalist Tops List of U.K's Most Influential LGBTs

By Trudy Ring

Originally published on Advocate.com October 13 2013 5:00 AM ET

Transgender journalist Paris Lees tops this year’s Pink List, an annual roster of the most influential LGBT people in the U.K., compiled by the Independent on Sunday, a London newspaper.

“Many IoS readers will never have heard of Paris Lees, but our judges believe that the award-winning journalist, broadcaster and campaigner for transgender rights is leading a slow but determined change in attitudes for the better,” says the newspaper. She has been the first transgender woman to be a presenter on Channel 4 and Radio 1, is the founder of META magazine, and received a Positive Role Model Award at the inaugural National Diversity Awards.

The paper notes, “This has been the year of equal marriage, but also the year when trans people finally began to glimpse the sort of respect and equality that gay people can, at last, expect. We hope the list reflects that.”

Newcomers to the list, which has 101 honorees, include Jackie Green, a transgender woman who ran for the Miss England title; Sarah Outen, a lesbian who became the first person to sail solo from Japan to Alaska (she also proposed to her girlfriend while at sea); Jennie Kermode and Helen Belcher, activists with Trans Media Watch; chef and gay father Yotam Ottolenghi; Rehana Kausar and Sobia Kamar, the first Muslim women to marry each other in the U.K.; and gay actor Ben Whishaw.

Some of the repeat honorees are activist Peter Tatchell; former rugby player Gareth Thomas; retired basketball player John Amaechi, now a psychologist and philanthropist; actor and singer Will Young; author Roz Kaveney; and writer-director-actress Stella Duffy.

The Independent also has lists of up-and-comers in Ones to Watch and perennial honorees in National Treasures as well as a separate list for politicians and one for straight allies.