A Tory MP who came out as a trans last month has urged young people struggling with gender dysphoria not to ‘wait as long as I have waited’.
Jamie Wallis became the first openly transgender MP in British history when he revealed that he was in favor of a transition.
The 37-year-old also said he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after being raped by someone he was dating and blackmailed for £ 50,000 by another person who threatened to exclude him in public.
Speaking to Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday, he said “part of me died” in the assault, which left him feeling “empty” and suffering from flashbacks.
In the all-interview, he said he ‘would not wait as long as I have expected’, but there was ‘nothing wrong with just taking some time and discovering yourself’.
‘But when you know who you are, you are ready and you want to tell the world that there are people like me waiting and we welcome, we are kind and we are here to help and support.’
Asked why he feels he is a woman, he explained: ‘I have gender dysphoria … it is the medical diagnosis required for a legal gender reassignment, but it is also the condition that describes the inconsistency between , how you look and what your body says and how you feel inside.
‘I do not feel that my body reflects who I am inside.’
Wallis said he had started struggling with his gender identity around the age of eight – before the advent of the internet showed him that there were others like him – and felt he was a “mistake”.
‘I remember I was eight and trying to figure out if there were other people out there who could have it like this.
‘I came to the wrong conclusion, at the time I thought it was just me and that maybe there was a terrible mistake or something that had gone very wrong.
Wallis, who said he still wants to be referred to use ‘he’ or ‘him’ until later in his transition, added: ‘As I got older and I started learning a little more about this problem and the moment where you realize that it’s not just you, that moment is not just a revelation, it’s exciting and scary at the same time.
The MP for Bridgend, Wales, said he had spent his adult life trying to ‘become this person I thought I should have been’, but in 2021 ‘he woke up one day and I realized I was actually no longer ashamed of me ‘.
Asked about his experience of rape, he added: ‘I met someone I liked and things started out pretty well.
“Then I was not okay with not being what I consider to be responsible and safe practice in the bedroom, so I withdrew my consent, and then there was … so he just decided he wanted to do it anyway, and I was powerless to stop him and at that moment part of me died and I have been trying to get it back ever since.
‘I tried to forget it for a couple of weeks and it almost worked, almost worked, but then you start getting nightmares, flashbacks, it starts recording all your thoughts and you find yourself just staring into the distance because you think about it again and that was when I chose to get some help.
“As I said in my statement, I’m not okay, I’m not the person I was before it happened, but I’m at least a place where I can get on with my life while dealing with it. “
Asked what he would say to a young person struggling with their gender identity, he said: ‘I was waiting and many young people right now think I’m dealing with gender issues and my advice to them would be, you have a long life.
“I would not wait as long as I have waited, I’m 37 – maybe you can move a little faster than that – but in fact there is absolutely nothing wrong with just taking some time and discovering yourself and not feeling rush to download a label or see it in any way.
“But when you know who you are and you are ready and you want to tell the world and claim that there are people like me here who are waiting and we welcome, we are kind and we are here to help and support. “
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