UK

Trans MP Jamie Wallis receives wave of love, support and solidarity after coming out

Patrick Kelleher March 30, 2022
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Conservative MP Jamie Wallis pictured outside 10 Downing Street

Jamie Wallis won praise after they came out publicly as trans. (Facebook)

Jamie Wallis MP has been met with a wave of love messages from the trans community, LGBT+ groups and MPs after coming out as trans.

In a statement shared on social media in the early hours of Wednesday morning (30 March), Tory MP Jamie Wallis came out as trans, and opened up about being outed to his father and becoming the victim of an extortion plot.

Wallis, who has confirmed that he will continue to use he/him pronouns, went on to reveal that he’s been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) ever since he was raped in September 2021.

His momentous coming out makes him the UK’s first ever openly trans MP, something Darren Mew, digital engagement officer at the trans youth charity Mermaids, noted could have a huge impact.

“It’s moving to hear Jamie Wallis MP has come out as being on [his] trans journey,” Mew told PinkNews.

“Having trans representation is critical at all levels of parliament and Mermaids welcomes the news that today we have the UK’s first trans MP. We are also extremely saddened to hear about the difficulty he has recently faced, and we sincerely hope that he is getting all the support that he needs at this moment.”

The LGBT+ Conservatives network paid tribute to Wallis in a heartfelt statement shared on social media.

“Asking for help and seeking comfort in those around you isn’t always easy,” the group wrote.

“Like your Conservatives colleagues, your friends at LGBT Conservatives are also in your support network – and are always here to support you whenever you need.

“You’ve always been there for us, now it’s our turn.”

The LGBT+ Conservatives continued: “A lot will be said about what this statement means as a diversity milestone, with assumptions made on how Jamie wants to be referred to and define themselves.

“Jamie’s health and happiness must be the priority, not trying to label someone before they’ve done so themselves.”

A number of Tory MPs also shared messages of support, including prime minister Boris Johnson.

“Sharing this very intimate story would have taken an immense amount of courage,” Johnson tweeted. “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.”

Many labelled Johnson a hypocrite, given that just hours before he had cracked a joke at the expense of the trans community at a dinner attended by Tories including Wallis.

Gendered Intelligence, a national trans-led charity, drew attention to the prime minister’s history of anti-trans remarks while commending Wallis.

“At a time when the prime minister himself treats trans people with disregard and disrespect, this takes courage – and we hope it shines a light for all other trans and non-binary people in parliament and beyond,” the organisation tweeted.

Foreign secretary and minister for women and equalities Liz Truss also praised Wallis for his “brave statement”, adding: “We stand with you.”

In October 2021, Truss spoke out against self-identification for trans people, saying there needed to be “checks and balances in the system”. Truss was also responsible for the government scrapping reforms to the Gender Recognition Act, which would have made life simpler for countless trans Brits.

Conservative MP Crispin Blunt shared Wallis’ statement on Twitter, adding: “This is what personal courage and leadership looks like in politics. This is a hugely important moment for all trans people in the UK. Congratulations Jamie Wallis.”

The All-Party Parliamentary group (APPG) on Global LGBT+ Rights, of which Blunt is chair, said it was “in awe” of Wallis for his “incredible bravery”.

Tory chairman Oliver Dowden, who just weeks ago criticised the west for “obsessing over pronouns”, said he was “proud” of Wallis for coming out.

“As a Conservative family we stand together, and we will support you. I hope that your brave statement will help others.”

 

Wallis also received support from Labour MPs including Nadia Whittome, who said his statement was “incredibly brave”.

“I sincerely hope it is met with love and empathy in the media and Westminster,” she tweeted.

“Jamie Wallis, I’m so sorry that you’ve been through this. You can count on support across political divides as you live your true life and recover from PTSD.”

Nancy Kelley, CEO of Stonewall, said in a statement: “We send our solidarity and love to Jamie Wallis who has taken the brave decision to come out as trans and share this journey with the world.

“It’s clear that Jamie has been through very painful recent experiences, and coming out in the public eye will be liberating, but also profoundly stressful. At Stonewall we’ve been heartened to see support for Jamie from across the LGBTQ+ community and across the political spectrum, and it’s vital we all continue to show that care.”

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