The UK’s first openly trans MP, Jamie Wallis, has said he is “bitterly disappointed” by the government’s decision to ban conversion therapy, but not for trans people.
The decision came about after a series of U-turns on Thursday (31 March), with news first leaking that the conversion therapy ban would be scrapped altogether. After fierce criticism, Boris Johnson changed tack, deciding to move forward with an LGB-only conversion therapy ban.
A later Government statement confirmed on Monday (4 April) that there would be “separate work to consider the issue of transgender conversion therapy.”
Speaking out about the decision to exclude trans people from a conversion therapy ban, Conservative MP Jamie Wallis said on Twitter that he is “bitterly disappointed”.
Wallis, who came out as trans the day before news first broke of the ban being scrapped, wrote: “Many have asked what my thoughts are. I’ve always believed that this debate attracts unnecessary hysteria and toxicity, and meaningful results can only come from meaningful debate.”
Wallis continued: “It is wrong to exclude protections for a whole group of people from a practice described as ‘abhorrent’.
If the CT [conversion therapy] ban passes through parliament without any protections for the transgender community, it cannot be described as anything other than a broken promise.”
3/ I hope the announcement that a separate piece of work will now be done on this issue will be done at speed. If the CT ban passes through parliament without any protections for the transgender community, it cannot be described as anything other than a broken promise.
— Jamie Wallis MP (@JamieWallisMP) April 4, 2022
Wallis was applauded when he publicly came out as trans and revealed that he was the victim of attempted extortion over his gender identity.
In a follow-up statement, Wallis thanked the public for “the huge outpouring of support” he received following his announcement, and confirmed that he will continue to use he/him pronouns.
“This is all very new to me. It’s taken a long time for me to come to terms with my gender dysphoria. It is a deeply personal matter and I had hoped to continue to keep this private until after I had finished my term as the member of parliament for Bridgend,” he wrote.
“I am overwhelmed by the kindness and support I have received in the last few hours. I am proud to be completely open and honest about the struggles I have had, and continue to have, with my identity.
“However, I remain the same person I was yesterday. For the time being, I will continue to present as I always have and will use he/him/his pronouns.
“As always, my priority remains serving the constituents of Bridgend.”