Jamie Wallis has become the first UK MP to come out as transgender, speaking openly of gender dysphoria, as well as being the victim of blackmail and rape.
“I am trans, or to be more accurate, I want to be,” said the Conservative MP, in a statement on Twitter. “I have never lived my truth and I’m not sure how. Perhaps it starts with telling everyone.”
In a later statement, Wallis said: “For the time being, I will continue to present as I always have and will use he/him/his pronouns.”
Boris Johnson responded that sharing this “very intimate story” would have taken an “immense amount of courage”.
The prime minister said Wallis’s honesty would “undoubtedly support others” and “the Conservative party I lead will always give you, and everyone else, the love and support you need to be yourself”.
Wallis has alleged that a man demanded £50,000 after sending pictures to his family. Praising the actions of the police, the MP said the man had been sentenced to two years and nine months in prison.
In his statement, Wallis said: “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.
“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.”
The MP also alleged that he was raped in September 2021 in a separate incident and has since been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Oliver Dowden, the Conservative party chair, said he was “proud” of his colleague. Other Tory MPs were also quick to praise Wallis’ statement. Alicia Kearns said Wallis had “changed” the nation, while former chancellor George Osborne said “we comment on the things that have got worse in politics, but many things have got better”.
Osborne said on Twitter that if a Tory MP had said this when he had first been elected 20 years ago, “they would have been hounded not applauded and supported”.