If you haven’t heard of Paris Lees before, then you will certainly be hearing of her on Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls.
Her story is nothing short of fascinating and she is not afraid to share it.
Here are 7 must-knows about Celebrity Island’s Nottinghamshire-born Paris Lees!
1. Paris Lees Self Identified as a Gay Male in Her Teens
This stunning beauty did, in fact, identify as a gay male in her teens.
How? I hear you say.
Born a boy in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, Paris Lees was openly gay until her transition in early adulthood.
2. Thug Life: CBB’s Paris Lees Prison Time
As open as Paris Lees is about her time spent in prison, she has in no way glorified the ordeal.
To set the record straight, we aren’t talking the next Pablo Escobar or El Pacho. Paris Lees committed a robbery while still identifying as male.
She was sent to a male prison and while spending time inside she admitted this was one of the darkest points in her life. This is when she vowed to change.
Paris said: I just thought, ‘I’m this silly teenage boy in a prison cell who has made a huge mistake and I want to be this happy person.”
3. She Put the T in LGBTQ
When Paris Lees was released from prison, she stuck to her word and took action in changing her life.
Paris made the brave decision to live as her authentic self and began her transition, identifying as female, before making her move to study English at the University of Brighton.
Sadly, at this point in her life, her grandma passed away. Paris pushed through and completed her degree in English.
She’s made of some pretty strong stuff… thus why she is also appearing in Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls!
Paris said: In the space of six weeks I went from living in Nottingham as a boy with my grandma still alive, to living in Brighton as a girl.”
4. Paris Lees’ Journey to Journalism
After graduating from the University of Brighton, Paris moved to London and took up a work experience placement at the Gay Times.
With her ambition and an entrepreneurial streak, Paris also founded the first British magazine for the Trans community called META.
She was also the first trans cover girl for Diva magazine.
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Had a great evening discussing LGBT+ equality with @therealgokwan, @chattyman, @charlie_king85 and @adeleroberts for @comicrelief at @facebook's London HQ today. So great to see society finally starting to celebrate every young person – hopefully kids won't have to grow up with the toxic shame that I and so many of my LGBT friends grew up with. Be proud! Be bold! Be kind to each other! 🏳️🌈 Thank you @benjaminipmakeup and @ellenoradeanhair at @percyandreed for the cute look 😘💕🌈👋🏻😁🤓😍
5. Superhero LGBTQ Activist Paris Lees
She is not just a one trick pony – Paris is a multi-track winner.
Given Paris Lees history, it’s no wonder she became a solid activist for the LGBTQ community. Educating, discussing and fighting for the rights of her community has been a big part of her life.
She has advised on storylines for Hollyoaks as well as documentaries such as My Transsexual Summer.
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Every woman matters. Every woman deserves to be safe. Every woman deserves to live her life without limits. Let’s join together and make sure disabled women are heard, trans women, sex workers, Muslims, Jewish women, poor people, women of colour… everyone #TimesUp! I enjoyed @womensmarchlondon so much that after a few pints me, @renieddolodge, @joelycett and my best mate Ben decided to do another one! Thank you to the 1000s of women who braved the snow today to cheer women’s rights and trans rights! I was worried about going but so glad I did now #intersectionalfeminism #lgbt #feminsm #blacklivesmatter
6. The Ambitious Bisexual Feminist
Paris’ willpower has driven her in many directions. We have noticed she is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in and we have every belief we will see this in the BB house!
Paris Lees is openly bisexual and a proud feminist. Any anti-feminists in the Big Brother house – beware!
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 pic.twitter.com/ve8M9wzfDw
— Paris Lees (@parislees) January 4, 2018
7. First Openly Transgender Woman Featured in British Vogue
If you thought Paris had ticked every box possible then maybe you forgot about her recent feature on Vogue.
Vogue put on a lavish shoot in January 2018 to celebrate 100 years since women gained the right to vote in Britain. Paris Lees was apart of it and we have to say, for all the work she has put into helping others, we are proud she was!
WATCH CELEBRITY ISLAND WITH BEAR GRYLLS EVERY SUNDAY NIGHT ON CHANNEL 4, AT 9 PM.