April Ashley was raised in Liverpool and joined the Merchant Navy when she was 14. She moved in Paris in the 1950s, began dressing as a woman, and began performing as a drag queen under the name, April E.
At 25, April saved £3000, thus allowing herself to have a seven hour genital reconstruction surgery. After recovering, April moved back to England and became a famous fashion model and actor.
After a year of success, her friend outed her as a transseuxal woman to the Sunday People newspaper, and she lost most of her modeling and acting career. April was married in the 1980s and now lives in Fulham, West London.
In 2012, April was awarded an MBE at Buckingham Palace for her services to transgender equality.
Check out more trans history on Gendered Intelligence’s ‘Trans History’ tag.
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