April Ashley receives MBE for services to trans rights

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One of the first people in Britan to undergo gender confirmation surgery is receiving an MBE medal for services to transgender equality today.

Liverpool-born actress and campaigner April Ashley will be honoured during a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony on Thursday.

Born in Liverpool in 1935, she underwent gender confirmation surgery in Morocco in 1960.

Ms Ashley went on to have a successful modelling career, often appearing in Vogue magazine.

Her divorce in 1970 from Arthur Corbett made the headlines when the judge ruled that despite her surgery she remained a biological man and therefore the marriage was invalid and annulled.

The ruling ended the hopes of any transgender people marrying in England until 2004 when the Gender Recognition Act, allowing people to legally change gender was introduced.

Ms Ashley was made an MBE in this summer’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list.