- A Conservative MP has become the first in the UK to come out as transgender.
- Jamie Wallis also revealed they had been raped last year, and fled a car crash while suffering PTSD.
- The news comes the day after Boris Johnson made a joke regarding trans rights at an event for Tory MPs.
A Conservative MP has come out as the first openly transgender member of the UK’s parliament.
Jamie Wallis, the MP for Bridgend & Porthcawl in Wales, issued a statement on Twitter in the early hours of Wednesday morning saying “it’s time”.
In the emotive statement, the MP revealed they had been blackmailed, with the individual demanding £50,000 ($65,653) “to keep quiet”. However, Wallis said the police had been “supportive” and the individual was jailed.
Wallis was also raped in September 2021, the statement reveals. “I have not been myself since this incident and I don’t think I will ever recover,” the MP says, adding they are now suffering PTSD – which led to them fleeing the scene of a car crash in late November 2021.
Wallis said they “imagined [they] would leave politics well before [they] ever said this out loud”, but felt emboldened by the support of colleagues following Tuesday night’s all-party cabinet dinner hosted by Boris Johnson.
Opening the event, Johnson told Tory backbenchers: “Good evening ladies and gentleman, or as Keir Starmer would put it, people who are assigned female or male at birth,” Politico reports.
Wallis did not reference this joke, however, the issue of trans rights has become a political hot potato in Westminster in recent weeks as the Labor frontbench has struggled to clearly articulate where the party stands.
—Jamie Wallis MP (@JamieWallisMP) March 30, 2022
The MP concluded the statement saying: “I have never lived my truth and I’m not sure how. Perhaps it starts with telling everyone.”
Wallis has received a great number of comments from crossbench MPs, supporting both the announcement and the details of the trauma the MP has gone through.
—Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) March 30, 2022
The Prime Minister is amongst those pledging support to Wallis, saying “The Conservative Party I lead will always give you, and everyone else, the love and support you need to be yourself.”
Wallis did not state if they were going to go by a different name going forwards, or what pronouns should be used.