ManCrush: Chris Bryant
Chris Bryant is a UK politician and former priest who has been the Member of Parliament for Rhondda since the 2001 general election.
Chris Bryant was born in Cardiff in 1962.
He was educated at Cheltenham College and then went on to study English at Oxford.
Bryant joined the Labour Party in 1986, after leaving Oxford.
After completing his first degree, Bryant began his training to be a vicar in the Church of England. He obtained a further degree in theology.
Bryant was ordained deacon in 1986 and priest in 1987. He served as a curate at the Church of All Saints, High Wycombe from 1986 to 1989 and then as a Youth Chaplain in Peterborough, as well as travelling in Latin America.
In 1991 Bryant left the ordained ministry, after deciding that being gay and being a priest were incompatible.
Early political career
After leaving the priesthood in 1991, Bryant began work as the election agent to the Holborn and St Pancras Constituency Labour Party.
From 1993, he was Local Government Officer for the Labour Party. He lived in Hackney and was elected to Hackney Borough Council in 1993, serving until 1998.
In 2000, Bryant was selected as the Labour candidate for the seat of Rhondda – a safe seat for the Labour Party.
He retained the seat comfortably at the 2001 general election and continues to represent the electorate.
The Gaydar scandal
In 2003, Bryant attracted negative media coverage when it was revealed that he was a subscriber to online dating platform Gaydar. Using his profile on Gaydar, Bryant had posted a photo of himself in just his underwear.
“It was a wound but it’s a rather charming scar now…” wrote Bryant, reflecting on the media coverage that he had received at the time. “I had a period when I barely slept and it was horrible, but I’m very lucky in having a supportive set of friends – MP friends and others – and they looked after me.”
At the time, media commentators predicted that he wouldn’t survive the scandal, and that there was talk of his possible deselection. In subsequent comments, Bryant has concluded that the coverage actually boosted his support as an MP.
Bryant entered into a civil partnership with Jared Cranney in 2010. The ceremony was the first civil partnership ever held in the Houses of Parliament. They are now married.
Bryant is an accomplished author, and has had several books published.
His most recent book, The Glamour Boys, Bryant explores the role that a group of gay MPs helped shape Britain’s response in the early days of World War II.