Second Type Women - April Ashley


April Ashley was born George Jamieson in England in April 1936. 

In 1957 she became a showgirl performing at the famous Carrousel Night Club in Paris and started hormone treatment.  In 1960 she had sex-change surgery in Casablanca, courtesy of the pioneering practitioner Dr. Burou - probably the first Britain to have the operation.  She returned to Britain to begin a promising career as a model until her exposure as a transsexual in the Sunday People newspaper the following year. 

In 1963 April married the Hon. Arthur Corbett, the couple almost immediately separated but the marriage remained valid until it was annulled in 1970 on the grounds that regardless of her current female appearance, April was still a male as she had been physically and genetically born as such.  This was a landmark case which set a disastrous legal precedent in England which still affects transsexuals.

As the years past, April became increasingly became accepted and recognised as a pioneer of gender equality.  She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2012.

April died at home on 27 December 2021, age 86.

More information about her can be found on her official website.



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Last updated: 28 April, 2001