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British Vogue includes trans activist Paris Lees in feature to celebrate 100 years since women got the vote

British Vogue includes trans activist Paris Lees in feature to celebrate 100 years since women got the vote

The British Vogue photo shoot featuring Liv Little, Sophie Walker, Paris Lees, Dina Tokio, Gillian Wearing, Reni Eddo-Lodge and Stella Creasy

Paris Lees is among the women to be included in a photo shoot for British Vogue to commemorate 100 years since women in the UK were first allowed the right to vote.

The trans and anti-bullying campaigner and writer is featured alongside MP Stella Creasy, artist Gillian Wearing, writer Reni Eddo-Lodge, Women’s Equality Party’s Sophie Walker, Gal-Dem magazine founder Liv Little and blogger Dina Tokio.

However, it is Lees’ inclusion which has prompted much of the online comment. She is believed to be the first openly transgender woman to be profiled by the title.

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.’

She went on to say: ‘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. She points out that April Ashley modeled for the magazine in the 1950s but was not openly trans and was later outed in the 1960s. The same fate befell fellow model Caroline Cossey in the 1980s.

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.’

New Vogue

This is the third issue of British Vogue to be edited by Edward Enninful, who became the first gay, black editor of the title in its history when he replaced Alexandra Shulman in 2017. He has been credited with promoting greater diversity in its models and contributors.

February 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of women being allowed to vote in the UK, following a sustained campaign by the original suffragette movement. At first, certain women over the age of 30 were permitted the right to vote, followed ten years later by all women over the age of 21.