You can visit April’s new website here.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while you know April used to live down here and we have friends in common- anyway, if you’re in Liverpool go see the exhibition, if not, buy her book! She’s living LGBT history.
NEW APRIL ASHLEY EXHIBITION
Museum of Liverpool to open exhibition about transgender icon
“The Museum of Liverpool is to host a new major exhibition this September looking at the history of transgender people in Britain over the past 70 years, focusing on the experiences of one exceptional individual.
Opening 27 September 2013 – 21 September 2014, April Ashley: Portrait of a lady will – for the first time – explore the story of April Ashley MBE, one of the first people in the world to undergo pioneering gender reassignment surgery.
The year-long exhibition has been funded with a £78,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and curated by Homotopia in partnership with National Museums Liverpool. It will draw on April Ashley’s previously unseen photographic archive and personal documents to investigate the wider impact of changing social and legal conditions for all transgender, lesbian, gay and bisexual people from 1935 to today.
April Ashley was born George Jamieson in Liverpool in 1935, April grew up praying that each morning she would wake up a girl. April joined the Merchant Navy aged 14 to escape an unhappy home life and the confusion around her gender. April attempted suicide, and tried a second time on returning home leading to her admission to a mental institution for electric shock treatment.
April later moved to Jersey and then Paris where she transitioned from male to female, working at Le Carrousel nightclub in Paris to earn the money she needed for pioneering gender reassignment surgery. April was Dr Georges Burou’s ninth patient when she had the surgery at his clinic in Casablanca, Morocco in 1960.
Gary Everett, Exhibition Curator and Director of Homotopia said: “After such an unhappy start in life, it was remarkable that April returned to Britain and became a successful model and actress, photographed by David Bailey and appearing in Vogue. It was all the more shocking then, when her story became a public scandal when she was ‘outed’ as transsexual by the Sunday People in 1961.”