A Member of the Parliament who is transgender urged those who were struggling with gender dysphoria not to "wait as long as I've waited" to transition.
The first openly transgender Member of the Parliament or MP Jamie Wallis recently opened up ab out his struggle with his sexual identity after a shocking revelation last month that he was a victim of rape and blackmail. In March, Wallis admitted that he wants to transition to be a woman and is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the events in his life.
On Sunday, the 37 year old transgender MP had an interview on Sky's Sophy Ridge, during which he offered advice to young people who struggled with their gender identity. UK's first openly transgender MP admitted he "wouldn't wait as long as I've waited" but added that 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, there are people like myself who are waiting and we're welcoming, we're friendly and we're here to help and support," Wallis said.
The Independent reported that Wallis plans to use he/him pronouns until later in his process of transitioning. He also opened up about feeling alone as a child as he dealt with questions about his gender identity. He admitted, "I came to the wrong conclusion, at the time I thought it was just me and that maybe there was some horrible mistake or something that had gone very wrong."
Wallis soon realized when he got older and began to learn more about gender identity that the "moment when you realize it isn't just you, that moment isn't just a revelation, it is exciting and terrifying at the same time." He also shared how he tried to become someone he thought he should have been but in 2021 he realized that he was "no longer ashamed" to be who he really was.
Wallis, who is a victim of rape by a man who he met with online and "hooked up" with, admitted that he "felt very ashamed and empty inside" after the experience. He also suffered nightmares and flashbacks after the sexual assault. But what was "truly frightening" for him was the "shocking" amount of people who reached out to him to share their similar experiences.
Earlier this year, the BBC reported that the number of calls, texts, and emails received by Safeline's male helpline more than doubled in 2021. Safeline's Chief Executive Neil Henderson estimated that one in six men have been sexually abused or assaulted, but very few actually reach out for help. In addition, Henderson said that it was encouraging to see more male victims of sexual assault come forward for support after the BBC One Drama "Four Lives" was aired.
"Four Lives"is a three-part series that told the story of serial killer Stephen Port and his victims, who he all killed after giving the "date rape" drug GHB. Port was imprisoned in 2016. Following the series, Safeline observed a 50% increase in calls to the male helpline.
Henderson explained, "There's also been a big rise in the number of people reporting they've been sexually abused by someone they met through a dating app or site - and more needs to be done to protect people in this area."