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Politicians and campaigners celebrate first openly trans MP

Politicians and campaigners have been expressing their support for Jamie Wallis, after the MP for Bridgend and Porthcawl came out as trans in a post late on Tuesday night.

Politicians and campaigners have been expressing their support for Jamie Wallis, after the MP for Bridgend and Porthcawl came out as trans in a post late on Tuesday night.

Wallis has been a Conservative MP since 2019. Despite accusations that senior party members have a history of anti-trans rhetoric, he wrote that the Tory whips had supported him throughout the period.

“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.” 

Wallis also revealed that he had faced blackmail threats, had been outed to his father, and was raped in September.

The prime minister thanked Wallis for his bravery, tweeting: “The Conservative Party I lead will always give you, and everyone else, the love and support you need to be yourself”.

He also began today’s PMQs session by telling Wallis that: “I know that the house stands with you, and will give you the support you need to live freely as yourself.”

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Gendered Intelligence, a national charity for trans people, welcomed the announcement while calling out the prime minister for past comments.

“The UK has its first openly trans MP,” they wrote. “At a time when the prime minister himself treats trans people with disregard and disrespect, this takes courage – and we hope it shines a light for all other trans and non-binary people in Parliament and beyond.”

Johnson reportedly made a joke seen as transphobic at a “champagne bash” with MPs just hours before the announcement, 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.”

At PMQs on March 23, he said: “when comes to distinguishing between a man and a woman, the basic facts of biology remain overwhelmingly important”.

LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall praised Wallis, tweeting: “Well done on taking this step Jamie. You have our full support and solidarity. Love from all of us at Stonewall”.

As did trandsgender support charirty Mermaids, which wrote: “We are moved to hear @jamieWallisMP coming out as on their trans journey. It’s saddening to also read all that he has been through. Congrats on being the UK’s first trans MP, we look forward to working with you.”

Alex Davies-Jones, MP for nearby Pontypridd, was among the first to respond, calling Wallis’ statement “incredibly brave and powerful”.

The sentiment was echoed by Foreign Secretary and Women and Equalities Minister Liz Truss, who told Wallis: “We stand with you.”

Labour’s Wes Streeting also wrote that he was sending “love and solidarity from the other side of the commons”, but Twitter users quickly pointed to a recent interview in which he was applauded for saying: “Men have penises, women have vaginas. Here ends my biology lesson.”

Labour MP Olivia Blake, wrote: “I don’t think we’ve ever crossed paths but I wanted to say as a fellow LGBT+ MP that this is an incredibly brave and honest statement. I hope this is met with only kindness and understanding.”

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