Tory becomes first MP to announce they are trans and reveals they faced £50,000 blackmail plot
'I've been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and I've felt this way since I was a very young child'
In a landmark moment, a Welsh Conservative MP has come out as Transgender after revealing that they had previously been blackmailed for £50,000.
MP Jamie Wallis for Bridgend, Wales, revealed the very personal news in the early hours of March 30 via a public statement shared on social media and on their website.
"There's a lot that goes on in MPs lives and the Whips play an important wellbeing role" they began.
— Jamie Wallis MP (@JamieWallisMP) March 30, 2022
The MP continued: "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.
Beautiful words of truth. No one should have to be “brave” just to publicly acknowledge who they are. I hope one day our society will become more equal and less judgemental. 🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈 https://t.co/Q872nl8yy9
— Branwen Martin (@Branwen25) March 30, 2022
Wallis continued, detailing a past experience where the news was almost shared without his consent.
"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. He pled guilty and was sentenced to 2 years and 9 months in prison."
Wallis believed that with the criminal behind bars, they would be able to "move on" - however hiding "something like this was always going to be tough", the MP admitted.
Wallis also noted another shocking incident that happened in September 2021.
"A few months back, in September, I 'hooked up' with someone who I met online and when I chose to say 'no' on the basis that he wouldn't wear a condom he chose to rape me," they wrote. "I have not been myself since this incident and I don't think I will ever recover."
“I’m trans. Or to b more accurate I want to be. I’ve been diagnosed with gender dysphoria & I’ve felt that way since a v young child..I’ve never lived my truth & I’m not sure how. Perhaps it starts with telling everyone” >brave statement by @JamieWallisMP, our 1st openly trans MP https://t.co/6FqSop2PqD
— Beth Rigby (@BethRigby) March 30, 2022
Concluding, they explained: "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."
Wallis' statement has received considerable attention online, with Stonewall's official account writing: "Well done on taking this step Jamie. You have our full support and solidarity. Love from all of us at Stonewall."
Sending you love and solidarity from the other side of the Commons. This is hugely courageous of you to share.
— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) March 30, 2022
"Sending you love and solidarity from the other side of the Commons. This is hugely courageous of you to share," wrote Labour MP Wes Streeting.
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