Conservative MP Comes Out as Transgender, Claims to Have Been Raped and Blackmailed

Jamie Wallis Official Portrait, Parliament
Official Portrait, Parliament

Conservative Jamie Wallis has become the first Member of Parliament to come out as transgender in an extraordinary post on social media in which he also claimed to have been raped and blackmailed. The Tory MP said that the trauma of the events led him to suffer from PTSD which he linked to his decision to flee from a car crash in November.

A little before 3 a.m. Wednesday morning, the 2019-intake Tory MP for Bridgend and Porthcawl said that it was “time” to come out as transgender.

“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,” Mr Wallis wrote in a statement.

The Tory MP said that there was previously a “close call” for his transgender identity being revealed to the public, claiming to have been blackmailed by someone who “outed me to my father and sent photographs to other family members.”

Wallis said that the man had wanted “£50,000 to keep quiet” but that the “system worked” and the police were able to apprehend the blackmailer, who he said pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years and nine months 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,” the MP said.

The Conservative politician said that in September when he “hooked up” with a man who he “met online”, the man raped him.

“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.”

Wallis claimed that because of this incident he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which led to him making the decision to flee the scene after crashing his car last year.

“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,” he said.

The Tory MP went on to thank the “incredible support” from his colleagues as well as from the Conservative whips, whom he said provided him with “a lot of support”.

“I have never lived my truth and I’m not sure how. Perhaps it starts with telling everyone,” Wallis said.

The politician has won praise for his “bravery” in becoming the first elected MP in Britain to come out as transgender.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Sharing this very intimate story would have taken an immense amount of courage. Thank you [Jamie Wallis] 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.”

Self-described socially liberal Conservative MP Michael Fabricant said: “My colleague, Jamie Wallis, has made a very brave statement this morning. We are all very proud of Jamie and we are all here for them.”

Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary and Labour MP, said: “ Sending you love and solidarity from the other side of the Commons. This is hugely courageous of you to share.”

However, some have been more critical of the post, including the chairman of conservative The Mallard publication, Jake Scott, who wrote that wrapping up discussing fleeing the scene of a car crash inside coming out as transgender “smacks of insulation from criticism.”

Indeed, on top of the controversy surrounding the car crash, the Tory MP has previously faced questions surrounding his businesses, leading to some 800 complaints being filed. Wallis has denied any wrongdoing.

The story comes amid a wider debate in Britain about transgender and female issues, with leading politicians such as Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer drawing criticism for struggling to provide a coherent definition of what a woman is.

Taking a stronger line than her boss, deputy Labour leader Angela Raynor said on Tuesday that it is “not acceptable” to question if a transgender person has a penis.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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