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Paris Lees


Paris Lees Knows...

What it feels like for a girl


To be a queen requires the perfect profile. After all, what would a witch’s snout look like on a £50 note? The Bank of England would never expect the nation’s cocainers to snort with something which depicts an ugly sniffer. Who wants to be drugly? A handsome nose is essential. No one can claim to be queen of anything without one.

That’s why I changed mine. Not because I’m a coke queen – not while I’m writing, anyway – but because I am utterly fabulous and, if Madonna ever dies I intend to succeed her as Top Bitch. Lady Gaga in waiting I am not.
So, beauty’s where you find it. Of course, they say it’s on the inside and, in my case, it was half a centimetre beneath the bump on my bridge: something dainty and retrousse, hidden by a less attractive cover. Congratulations to my surgeon for finding it, along with that pretty wad of £50 notes which used to be stuffed under my mattress.

How terribly obvious, though, to begin a column on transgender issues with operations. What can I say? Surgery’s an important aspect of many trans people’s lives. For those who feel limited by their bodies, change is attractive. Plus, it’s glamorous, fun, and totally risk-free! Apart from when it goes wrong, mind.

Potential for transformation is powerful. As a teenager, I was placed in borstal (for boys; naughty ones) and Gay Times, to add another cliché, was my only outlet. Back then, I identified as gay. Look, GT said, here’s something for people like you to read. You exist! Amid thousands of female breasts, it provided a wall’s-worth of male nipples at HMP Glenn Parva. Validation, intellectual stimulation and much-needed masturbatory material. Thanks, GT.

Seven years later and I’m typing away in exquisite nasal agony. I’m working on the next issue of META magazine – a new digital publication that tells trans people they exist, too. I reinvented myself. I sliced myself up and stepped out the fleshy mess as Paris Lees, successful female journalist, editor of META magazine and GT columnist.
Her with the cute nose.

Paris is editor of META - a new digital publication devoted to gender. The current issue is available here and features My Transsexual Summer's Fox, plus interviews with Julie Bindel and Joey Hateley.

Photo: Ryan Harding Photography

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