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Conservative MP Jamie Wallis has come out as the first openly transgender member of the British parliament.
The politician explained he has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and has felt this way since he was 'a very young child'.
Wallis went on to explain how he had 'no intention of ever sharing' the news in public, and said he 'always imagined [he] would leave politics well before' he shared the news 'out loud' in his statement.
He described a 'close call' in April 2020 when someone blackmailed him, outed him to his father and sent photographs to family members, with Wallis claiming the blackmailer 'wanted £50,000 to keep quiet'.
The news did not come out before Wallis wanted it to as he said the police were 'so supportive [and] so understanding', adding that 'on this occasion the system worked' and the blackmailer pleaded guilty to his crime, resulting in a prison sentence of two years and nine months.
"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," Wallis continued.
The MP described having 'hooked up' with someone online in September and claimed the man raped him after they 'chose to say "no" on the basis that he wouldn't wear a condom'.
"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 wrote. "Since then things have really taken a tumble. I am not OK."
Wallis went on to admit fleeing the scene when he crashed his car in November because they were 'terrified', and described having PTSD and having 'no idea what [he] was doing' apart from being 'overcome by an overwhelming sense of fear'.
He continued: "I am sorry that it appears I 'ran away' but this isn’t how it happened in the moment. 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 shared the statement on Twitter with the caption "It is time" and explained his decision to come out followed a dinner with the parliamentary party yesterday; an occasion they appreciated 'for a number of reasons'.
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