First Brit to have sex change operation gets MBE
For extraordinary service to the community regarding transgender quality, Miss April Ashley has been appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). This public recognition is only one stop along a long journey for the 77-year-old Ashley.
Ashley has lived a full life. Though her revised birth certificate lists her as female, she was not born as one. Early on, Ashley who was born George Jamieson in 1935 recognized her difference from others of the male gender. Though George tried to fit in, he never did.
The first step was cross-dressing. Finally, in 1960, long before most even knew about such things, Moroccan surgeon, Doctor Burou of Casablanca, performed the sex-change surgery that turned George into April. April became a model and did not broadcast her situation. A so-called “friend” did that by selling her story.
What followed were years of struggle and scandal, and, finally, legal recognition of her status as female.