The glamorous icon and transgender activist was the second British person to ever undergo male to female reassignment surgery. She was honoured by HM The Queen in 2012.

April Ashley
Trangender model and activist April Ashley has died aged 86

Transgender activist, model and icon April Ashley has passed away at the age of 86.

The model and former restaurant owner passed away on Monday 27 December – a cause of death has not been revealed.

April was the second British person to ever undergo gender reassignment surgery – transitioning from male to female in 1960 at the age of 25.

She went on to become a revered model – featuring regularly within Vogue magazine – but was also the subject of cruel taunts and was ‘outed’ as transgender by a Sunday newspaper in 1961 which damaged her modelling career.

Singer Boy George was among those paying tribute to the late star, tweeting: “R.I.P April Ashley! A force of nature and transgender high priestess!”

He also told the I: “April Ashley remains an inspiration on how to live with grace and dignity.”

April was born in Liverpool in 1935 where she was known as George Jamieson – later changing her name in adult life to April, for the month she was born, and Ashley because of her admiration for Leslie Howard as Ashley Wilkes in Gone With The Wind.

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