The voice of a generation: Paris Lees Archive comes to Bishopsgate Institute
“When I was a student there was no one like me in public life. Trans people were bullied and lied about in the media for years, while our voices were silenced. I wanted to change that by getting myself a platform. Now we’re everywhere” – Paris Lees
Bishopsgate Institute has acquired the published works of journalist, presenter and campaigner Paris Lees – dubbed “the voice of a generation” by i-D magazine.
The Paris Lees Archive contains over 350 items, including charity newsletters, programmes, interviews, published articles and original university coursework. The Times, Guardian, Independent, Sun and Evening Standard are included, plus magazines such as Attitude, DIVA, Grazia, Cosmopolitan, Men's Health and NME.
Library and Archives Manager Stefan Dickers explains why the archive is such an important and relevant addition to our library: "We are absolutely thrilled to be able to provide a home for the Paris Lees Archive which is an amazing document of her campaigning, journalism and seminal role in the fight for trans equality. This is an important archive is so many ways, and will be an invaluable resource for those wanting to understand and research trans history for generations to come”
Paris is equally thrilled to have the archive somewhere it will be so appreciated not just now but in the future. “I’m delighted my work is safe in this lovely library in one of my favourite parts of London. Right next to Spitalfields Market, not to mention Percy and Reed! When I was a student there was no one like me in public life. Trans people were bullied and lied about in the media for years, while our voices were silenced. I wanted to change that by getting myself a platform. Now we’re everywhere. I'm sure future generations will look back on this decade as hugely important for trans people and society as a whole, like we now look back on women’s liberation, the civil rights movement and the push for gay equality in the 20th Century. Good!”
Bishopsgate Library holds a variety of collections relating to LGBT history, politics and culture. These include the archive collections of organisations such as Stonewall and Outrage!, and material relating to the Terrence Higgins Trust, Achilles Heel magazine and QX magazine.