April Ashley Dies: April Ashley has died at the age of 86. She was a renowned model, actor and transgender activist. She was one of the first Britons to undergo gender assignment surgery. Keeping in view her contribution to the uplift of the transgender community, she was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2012.
Museum of Liverpool has also tweeted from its Twitter handle, stating, “We’re truly sad to hear about the recent loss of April Ashley MBE, a trailblazing transgender activist, model, actress and local LGBT+ icon. It was an honour to tell April’s story. Our thoughts are with April’s family, friends and those touched by her legacy.”
English journalist Paris Lees also took to Twitter and wrote, “So sad to hear April Ashley has died. I was lucky enough to meet her and she was luminous and charismatic and flirted with waiters without seeming remotely silly despite pushing 80. Her wild, sad, extraordinary life is a lesson in how trans people were treated in the 20th century”
Here’s everything you should know about April Ashley
- She was born in Liverpool in 1935.
- She joined the merchant navy as a teenager.
- According to reports, she tried to attempt suicide many times and was also admitted to a psychiatric unit.
- Post that, she moved to London in 1955 and then to Paris. She did this to perform at Le Carrousel nightclub to earn money for gender reassignment surgery.
- Ashley was the second Briton to undergo male to female transition surgery in 1960.
- She underwent the operation in Casablanca in Morocco.
- After the news of her being a transgender broke out, her career nearly came to an end in 1961.
- In 1963, she got hitched to aristocrat Arthur Cameron Corbett in Gibraltar but got divorced in 1970
- The judge said that it was not possible to legally change sex, terming the marriage as invalid.
- Soon after that, Ashley immigrated to the US West coast. She later returned to Britain in 2005. That’s when she was legally recognised as female.
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