April Ashley MBE, by Tim Walker, 2010



"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.” April Ashley, 2005 April Ashley was born George Jamieson, in Liverpool, 1935. Although identified as male at birth, April always felt and looked like a girl. Childhood was a lonely and traumatic time. By her early twenties she was finally able to accept and reveal her true identity. In 1960 April was one of the first people in the world to undergo pioneering gender reassignment surgery. She later went on to become a Vogue model and an actress. April is one of the most famous transgender individuals and a campaigner for transgender equality, especially in relation to the Gender Recognition Act 2004. In 2012 she was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). This 2010 portrait, by Tim Walker, was first displayed in the Museum of Liverpool’s exhibition, April Ashley: Portrait of a lady. It was later presented to the Museum on Transgender Day of Remembrance, 2015.