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Conservative Jamie Wallis comes out as UK's first transgender MP

The MP for Bridgend opened up about being raped and a £50,000 blackmail plot in an emotional statement on Twitter.

2022-03-30

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Wiki

Conservative MP Jamie Wallis has come out as transgender, making him the first Member of Parliament in UK history to do so.

In an emotional coming out statement posted online on Wednesday (30 March) the MP, who joined Parliament in 2019, shared his gender identity journey and also opened up about being raped and being subjected to a £50,000 blackmail plot.

"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," Wallis reveals.

He continues: "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."

He then reveals there was a "close call" in April 2020 when someone tried to outed him to his father and tried to blackmail him. Fortunately, the police got involved and the man is said to have pleaded guilty and is now in prison. 

Since then, he goes on to say, "things have taken a tumble. I am not ok."

"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," the MP shares.

"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," he adds.

Jamie then reveals that when he crashed his car last November, he fled the scene. 

He explains, "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."

Spending time with his colleagues reminded him of the support he has, James says.

"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."

Jamie says he'd had dinner earlier this week with his fellow Tory MPs and that he had appreciated the occasion to chat to his colleagues outside of Parliament "for a number of reasons."

Wallis says that he's had a lot of support since becoming an MP and praises the party Whips - MPs from each party who help organise their party - who he says have "certainly earned their keep with me."

Jamie's statement has been met with support on social media. 

Jo Maugham of the Good Law Project says: "A hugely dignified and brave message, Jamie. Solidarity. (And really cheering to hear that the Whips have been supportive.)"

Former Attitude editor Matthew Todd sent solidarity to Wallis, writing: "I am sorry that you went through this. Glad you feel able to be yourself. I hope you are getting some support to help process all of this."

The head of Stonewall, Nancy Kelley, said: "much love and solidarity."

** UPDATE - 30 MARCH**

Since posting his original statement, Jamie Wallis has thanked people for the outpouring of support and confirmed he intends to continue using he/him/his pronouns.