April Ashley, South of France May 2006
© Rex Features
In the 1990s and early 2000s April continued her campaign to have her true gender recognised. She lobbied and wrote to Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Lord Chancellor, remaining resolutely committed to changing the law for all transgender people.
In 2005, after the passage of the Gender Recognition Act 2004, April was finally legally recognised as female and issued with a new birth certificate. The then Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, who had previously worked with April in the 1950s, helped her with the procedure. In 2012 she was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to transgender equality and continues to be an inspiration to many today.
"45 years and four months after I became the woman I wanted to be, I had a piece of paper to prove I really am April Ashley. I feel free at last.”