A lawmaker in the UK has come out as trans, making him the first trans MP in the country.
Jamie Wallis, 37, is an MP for Bridgend in Wales. Wallis is a member of the right-leaning Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He has indicated he intends to continue to use he/him pronouns for now.
Wallis, 37, posted a lengthy message on Twitter. The MP revealed that besides having gender dysphoria, he’d also been raped following a dating app hookup in September. Wallis said that subsequent PTSD from this incident played a part in them crashing a car last November in the Welsh village of Llanblethian.
Wallis’ crash was into a lamppost carrying communications equipment. It managed to temporarily wipe out a village’s internet connection. Wallis fled the scene but was later arrested.
Wallis posted a statement to Twitter shortly before 3am local time today. Earlier in the evening, Wallis attended a private dinner thrown by Prime Minister Boris Johnson for MPs.
— Jamie Wallis MP (@JamieWallisMP) March 30, 2022
Wallis’ statement said:
“Yesterday the parliamentary party had a photo in the chamber and then we went for dinner together. It was nice, especially for those of us in the ‘2019 intake’ of MPs who haven’t done anything like that before.
“It was lovely to speak to colleagues away from Parliament, and I appreciated the occasion for a number of reasons.”
Wallis went on to thank his party for the behind-the-scenes support it gives to MPs.
“As far as I’ve seen they try their best to support and help MPs who are having a tough time. Well they’ve certainly earned their keep with me.”
Wallis then said, “I’m trans. Or to be more accurate, I want to be. I’ve been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and I’ve felt this way since I was a very young child. I had no intention of ever sharing this with you. I always imagined I would leave politics well before I ever said this out loud.
“There was a close call in April 2020 when someone Blackmailed me, outed me to my father and sent photographs to other family members. He wanted £50,000 to keep quiet. The police were so supportive, so understanding and on this occasion the system worked. He pled guilty and was sentenced to 2yrs and 9mnths in prison.
“For a while it seemed as though I would be able to get on with things and move on. Being an MP and hiding something like this was always going to be tough, but I arrogantly assumed I was up for it.
“Well, I’m not.
“A few months back, in September, I ‘hooked up’ with someone who I met online and when I chose to say ‘no’ on the basis that he wouldn’t wear a condom he chose to rape me. I have not been myself since this incident and I don’t think I will ever recover. It is not something you ever forget, and it is not something you ever move on from.
“Since then things have really taken a tumble. I am not ok.
“When I crashed my car on the 28th November I fled the scene. I did so because I was terrified. I have PTSD and I honestly have no idea what I was doing except I was overcome by an overwhelming sense of fear. I am sorry that it appears I ‘ran away’ but this isn’t how it happened in the moment.
“Tonight, I was reminded of the incredible support those you work with can provide. Also, I was reminded how important it is to be yourself. I have never lived my truth and I’m not sure how. Perhaps it starts with telling everyone.”
Related: Am I trans? Figuring out your gender
Ironically, Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly welcomed guests at last night’s dinner with a transphobic dig at a rival politician.
“Good evening, ladies and gentleman, or as Keir Starmer would put it, people who are assigned female or male at birth.”
Keir Starmer is the leader of the Labour Party, the main opposition party in the UK. Starmer has been a vocal supporter of trans rights.
However, this morning, Johnson tweeted a message of support for Wallis.
Sharing this very intimate story would have taken an immense amount of courage. Thank you @JamieWallisMP for your bravery, which will undoubtedly support others.
The Conservative Party I lead will always give you, and everyone else, the love and support you need to be yourself. https://t.co/Y7VjQOMgkO
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) March 30, 2022
At around noon local time, Wallis posted a further statement, to clarify his pronouns and thank people for their support.
“I wanted to thank everyone for the huge outpouring of support I have received following my previous statement.
“This is all very new to me. It’s taken a long time for me to come to terms with my gender dysphoria. It is a deeply personal matter and I had hoped to continue to keep this private until after I had finished my term as the Member of Parliament for Bridgend.
“I am overwhelmed by the kindness and support I have received in the last few hours. I am proud to be completely open and honest about the struggles I have had, and continue to have, with my identity. However, I remain the same person I was yesterday. For the time being, I will continue to present as I always have and will use he/him/his pronouns.”