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Jamie Wallis comes out as first openly trans MP

Jamie Wallis, the Conservative MP for Bridgend and Porthcawl, has come out as the first openly trans member of parliament in a statement published on his website.

Jamie Wallis, the Conservative MP for Bridgend and Porthcawl, has come out as the first openly trans member of parliament in a statement published on his website, detailing a traumatic recent history including blackmail, rape and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Wallis, who was elected in 2019, said he has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and has “felt this way since I was a very young child”.

“I’m trans. Or to be more accurate, I want to be,” he wrote. “I’ve been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and I’ve felt this way since I was a very young child.” 

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanked Wallis — who did not specify his preferred pronouns — for his bravery in sharing the story and offered support.

“Sharing this very intimate story would have taken an immense amount of courage. Thank you @JamieWallisMP for your bravery, which will undoubtedly support others,” Johnson tweeted.

“The Conservative Party I lead will always give you, and everyone else, the love and support you need to be yourself.”

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Wallis’ decision to come out followed a dinner with his fellow Conservative MPs and the support he said he has received from the whip’s office. Johnson reportedly made a joke seen as transphobic at the dinner, beginning his speech with: “Good evening ladies and gentleman, or as Keir Starmer would put it, people who are assigned female or male at birth.”

“I had no intention of ever sharing this with you,“ Wallis wrote. “I always imagined I would leave politics well before I ever said this out loud.”

Recent events have changed his mind, however. After being blackmailed to the tune of £50,000 in 2020 by someone he said “outed me to my father and sent photographs to other family members”, he revealed he was raped by a man he met online in September 2021.

“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 said.

In December he was arrested after crashing his car and fleeing the scene, an event he said was a result of the trauma.

“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.”

His decision to come out followed a dinner with his fellow Conservative MPs and the support he said he has received from the whip’s office.

“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.”

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