April Ashley was one of the first people in Great Britain to have SRS in 1960 when she did so with Dr Georges Bourou in Casablanca, Morocco. She led an exciting life as a Vogue fashion model, worked at the famed LeCarrousel trans club in Paris in which she rubbed elbows with Ernest Hemingway, Jean Paul Sartre and Bob Hope, was an actress, a lover to actors Omar Sharif and Peter O’Toole and attracted the romantic attentions of painters Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.
She was outed when her so called ‘friend’ sold her story to the British tabloids, but it didn’t stop her from marrying aristocrat Arthur Corbett and setting up another interesting chapter in her life when he filed for divorce in 1969. .
She was the defendant in the 1970 Corbett v Corbett marriage case that had negative consequences for the identities of British transpeople until the passage of the 2004 Gender Recognition Act Act. That case has been deleteriously used on our side of The Pond against Christie Lee Littleton, J’Noel Gardiner, and most recently Nikki Araguz and Ms W in Hong Kong as a weapon against trans marriages.
She has worked tirelessly to advance the human rights of transpeople in Britain as is noted as well for her charity work.
When the Queen’s Birthday Honours List was announced yesterday, April Ashley received an MBE for her trans human rights advocacy.
Congratulations to one of our pioneering iconic transpeople Getting an MBE is a huge honor in Britain and Ms Ashley deserves it.