UK

‘Hypocrite’ Boris Johnson made anti-trans joke at Tory dinner hours before MP came out as trans

Maggie Baska March 30, 2022
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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seen wearing a white shirt, light blue tie and darker blue suit jacket while walking outside

Boris Johnson attends a memorial service for the Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey on 29 March 2022 in London, England. (Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty)

Boris Johnson reportedly made a distasteful joke at the trans community’s expense at a dinner for Conservatives, just hours before he applauded Jamie Wallis MP for coming out as trans.

The prime minister is reported to have remarked on Labour leader Keir Starmer’s support for trans rights during a dinner at London’s Park Plaza hotel on Tuesday (29 March), attended by the majority of Conservative MPs.

According to Politico, Johnson began his speech with: “Good evening ladies and gentleman, or as Keir Starmer would put it, people who are assigned female or male at birth.”

Among the MPs present at the dinner was Jamie Wallis, who has said he will continue to use him/him pronouns for the time being.. Hours after the event, Wallis posted a statement to Twitter in which he came out as trans.

“I’m trans. Or to be more accurate, I want to be,” Wallis wrote in the small hours of Wednesday (30 March) morning.

“I’ve been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and I’ve always felt this way since I was a very young child,” Wallis continued.

The Tory MP admitted he thought he would retire from politics “well before I ever said this out loud”. 

In a statement posted on social media, Boris Johnson thanked Wallis for his “bravery”, which he said “will undoubtedly support others”.

He added that Wallis showed an “immense amount of courage” to share “this very intimate story”. 

“The Conservative Party I lead will always give you, and everyone else, the love and support you need to be yourself,” Johnson continued. 

Quickly, social media condemned Johnson as a hypocrite.

Jamie Wallis comes out as trans after extortion plot

Jamie Wallis’ coming out has been met with a wave of love and support from across the political spectrum.

He suggested that he’d had “a lot of support” from Tory whips while dealing with an extortion plot and after being raped last year.

Wallis said that he was outed to his father last year by somebody who demanded £50,000 to keep silent about his gender identity. After Wallis reported it to the police, the person was eventually jailed, he added.

Wallis also said that he was raped during a ‘hook up’ in September, and that he have been living with PTSD.

Earlier this month, Keir Starmer declared “trans women are women” as he called for a more respectful debate on trans issues in the UK. He added this wasn’t “just my view” but is “actually the law” through the “combined effects of the 2004 [Gender Recognition] Act and the 2010 [Equality] Act”.

In contrast, Boris Johnson told MPs last week that the “basic facts of biology remain overwhelmingly important” when it “comes to distinguishing between a man and a woman”, words widely condemned as an anti-trans dog whistle.

The prime minister also called for people wanting to make a “transition in their lives” to be “treated with the maximum possible generosity and respect”. 

Trans-led charity Gendered Intelligence said Johnson’s comment “suggests at best ignorance, and at worst contempt for trans and non-binary people”. A spokesperson for the group said Johnson’s “reference to the ‘basic facts of biology’ recalls the worst arguments of anti-trans groups”. 

Kai O’Doherty, head of research and policy at Mermaids, told PinkNews that it was nice to see Johnson’s comment “included an important emphasis on ensuring we treat trans people with respect and generosity”. 

But he said it was in “everyone’s interest not to attach so much weight to biology when discussing trans matters”. 

“Sex rights and trans rights are not at odds with one another,” O’Doherty said. 

 

More: Boris Johnson, Jamie Wallis, tories

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