From The Liverpool Echo: http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/lifestyle/liverpool-born-1960s-icon-transsexual-april-6065502
Once George Jamieson, the former model remembers her journey from suicide attempts, people spitting in her face to Buckingham Palace
By Jan Tansley
As she walks along the streets near her home in south west London well-wishers are quick to pass on greetings or wish April Ashley a ‘good afternoon’.
“It’s so nice,” she exclaims. “In the old days people spat in my face.”
Times have clearly changed – though maybe be not as much as they might – and it’s time for reflection.
Now, 78, April is the focus for a new exhibition which opens on September 27 at the Museum of Liverpool.
April Ashley: Portrait of a lady will explore the story of the woman who was one of the first people in the world to undergo pioneering gender reassignment surgery.
“I was astonished when they asked me to do it,” she smiles. “Only John Lennon has been given a whole year’s exhibition before so I’m very flattered.
“It was very hard work, not physically, but emotionally.
“There were times when I wanted to throw everything onto a big bonfire but I did it for my darling Liverpool, my favourite place in the whole world.
“One of my favourite memories is that of standing at the Pier Head with my father, who was in the Royal Navy during the war.
“He had been torpedoed a couple of times but he would be wearing his uniform which, because they didn’t have dry cleaners, would have just been put on a hanger to dry.
“I would just sniff him and he smelled of sea salt which to me was like a scent from heaven.