Is April Ashley Trans?

Who is April Ashley?

April Ashley MBE, born on 29th April 1935, is a renowned English model and restaurant hostess. Initially born male and named George Jamieson, Ashley’s early life in Liverpool was fraught with personal struggles, attempting suicide twice before she turned 15 and facing a brief period of institutionalization. Her career began in the Merchant Navy at the tender age of 14, but it ended abruptly due to a dishonorable discharge following homosexual activity. Ashley then relocated to Paris in the late 1950s, where she found employment at Le Carrousel, a nightclub known for its drag shows. Ashley’s journey as a transgender woman became public in 1961 when the British press outed her, making her one of the earliest known individuals in Britain to undergo gender reassignment surgery.

What made April Ashley famous?

April Ashley’s rise to fame was quite unconventional. While residing in Paris, she encountered an individual who generously funded her sex reassignment surgery, a procedure she underwent in Casablanca, Morocco in 1960. The surgery was performed by the renowned French surgeon, Dr. Georges Burou. Post-surgery, Ashley adopted her new identity and embarked on a successful career as a fashion model. She collaborated with eminent designers like Coco Chanel and even graced the pages of Vogue magazine. However, in 1961, her past was revealed by the British tabloid press, which outed her as a transgender woman, leading to a public scandal and a significant setback in her career.

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Is April Ashley trans?

Arthur Corbett’s divorce from Ashley in 1970 brought her into the limelight, as their case reached the High Court in London. The court’s decision to annul their marriage, on the grounds that Ashley was legally a man, set a significant legal precedent in the UK, establishing that a person’s sex was determined at birth and couldn’t be changed. However, Ashley’s fame didn’t stop there. In 2004, following the passage of the Gender Recognition Act, she became one of the first individuals to legally change her gender and receive a new birth certificate. Her contributions to transgender equality were recognized in 2012 when she was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). Today, she remains a prominent figure in the LGBTQ+ community and continues to advocate for transgender rights.