Friday, September 20, 2013

April Ashley

More than likely April Ashley, the 1960's transsexual icon, would have never dreamed her life's journey would have taken her to this place.

The 78 year old April is the focus for a new exhibition which opens on September 27 at the Museum of Liverpool. Her "Portrait's of a Lady"  will explore the story of the woman who was one of the first people in the world to undergo pioneering gender reassignment surgery.

To be sure, April Ashley's story is as current today as it was in the past: Born George Jamieson, the former model's remarkable journey went from suicide attempts and people spitting in her face to Buckingham Palace.
April in Liverpool

If you do not recall her story, April Ashley was outed as a transsexual in 1961 and her career was destroyed  and essentially she never worked again.

Through all of that though April refused to be bitter and got on with her life.  Eventually she was awarded the MBE for services to transgender equality: given to her by Prince Charles (left) who said it was a long time coming. She was also instrumental in bringing about changes like the Gender Recognition Act in 2004 which allowed her and others in her position to have her gender reflected on her birth certificate.

Of course there is much more to the April Ashley saga, go here to read more.

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A Life in Gender Flux