A Conservative MP has become the first Member of Parliament to come out as transgender.
Jamie Wallis, MP for Bridgend in Wales since 2019, said in a statement posted online: “I’m trans. Or more precisely, I want to be. I was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and have felt this way since I was a very young child.”
The MP added: “I had no intention of ever sharing this with you. I always imagined that I would leave politics long before I ever said so out loud.”
Wallis thanked the party for the offered support. “I’ve never lived my truth and I’m not sure how. Maybe it starts with telling everyone,” the MP said.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed his colleague’s “courage” and vowed: “The Conservative Party I lead will always give you and everyone else the love and support you need to be yourself.”
But Wallis’ statement comes as Johnson signaled a broader willingness to step up his rhetoric on trans rights, which have become a bitter battleground in Britain’s so-called culture wars.
Last week, at the Prime Minister’s Questions, after acknowledging that “people who want to make a transition in their lives should be treated with the utmost generosity and respect,” Johnson added: “When it comes to transitioning between a man and a woman distinguish, the basic facts of biology remain overwhelmingly important.”
This phrasing is more in line with the ‘gender critique’ movement in Britain, which argues that sex is biological and should not be equated with gender identity. Gender critical activists tend to think that trans women should be excluded or restricted in women’s spaces.
Johnson raised the issue again at a Conservative Party dinner Tuesday night, beginning his speech with the opening line: “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, or as Keir Starmer would put it, people who are giving birth to a woman or a assigned to a man.”
Union leader Starmer faced accusations of ambiguity on the trans rights issue as politicians from across the spectrum were urged to take a stand.
The Prime Minister’s words have raised expectations that the Conservatives will see an attack on Labor’s confusion over trans rights as a vote gain, but Walli’s story complicates the picture as all parties struggle with divisions on the issue.
https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-mp-comes-out-transgender-culture-wars/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication UK Tory MP comes out as transgender amid escalating culture war - POLITICO