Jamie Wallis, a conservative member of the United Kingdom Parliament, came out as trans on Wednesday, a day before the annual International Transgender Day of Visibility. 

Trigger Warning: This story has details of blackmail and sexual assault, which might be distressing to some readers. For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

Thirty-seven-year-old Wallis, who entered Parliament in 2019 as a member for Bridgend in Wales, in a post on social media said that he was a victim of rape and blackmail. In a follow up post Wallis thanked the public for the outpouring of support and added that for now he would continue to use the “he/him/his” pronouns. 

Advertisement
Wallis is the first MP to come out as trans. The BBC reported that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Wallis in the House of Commons, “the House stands with you and will give you the support you need to live freely as yourself”. 

‘I Had No Intention Of Coming Out’

Wallis’ post on social media said that he had had a lot of support since he was elected  and “not for the reasons you might think”

I’m trans. Or to be more accurate, I want to be,” said Wallis. “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.”

Wallis revealed that two years ago a man had threatened to out him unless he was paid £50,000. 

“There was a close call in April 2020 when someone blackmailed me, outed me to my father and sent photographs to other family members. He wanted £50,000 to keep quiet. The police were so supportive, so understanding and on this occasion the system worked.”

Advertisement
The accused, subsequently,  pled guilty and was sentenced to over two years in prison. 

Surviving Sexual Assault

“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,” said Wallis.

The MP said that he had been raped by a man he had met online and hooked up with in September 2021. 

“When I chose to say ‘no’ on the basis that he wouldn’t wear a condom he chose to rape me,” said Wallis, adding that he had still not recovered from the sexual assault. “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.”

Wallis was arrested in November 2021, after he crashed his car into a lamppost in Llanblethian, Vale of Glamorgan. Wallis explained that he had fled the scene after crashing his car as he 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. I am sorry that it appears I “ran away” but this isn’t how it happened in the moment.” 

Wallis, who had posted about coming out as trans following an event with other MPs said he 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.”

 

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

 

© Star Observer 2022 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.