Can a stroke turn you gay? If you ask Chris Birch, a former 266 lbs rugby player, that very question he’s likely tell you yes. After surviving a horrific broken neck and stroke, Birch, a 26-year-old Welshman, woke up and found himself being attracted to men instead of women. Prior to the accident he was engaged to be married to his fiancee and had a job as a banker. Today he’s employed as a hairdresser and lives above the salon with his 19-year-old boyfriend.
Tragedy struck Birch during a gym training session in 2005 when he befell a horrible accident after attempting a back flip when horse-playing in front of his friends. He suffered a broken neck and stroke and was immediately taken to intensive care. Birch recalls experiencing his first attraction to his own sex during his rehabilitation period. He told the London Mirror that he encountered his first homosexual feelings while watching a TV show featuring a handsome male actor.
“I felt my stomach flutter and the same feelings I used to have for pretty girls came across me,” Birch said.
Birch’s lifestyle has changed dramatically. Whereas he used to be found hanging out with his mates watching sports, today you’re more likely to find him hanging out in gay night clubs. He has shed 110 lbs and has traded in his skinhead hairstyle for a fashionable new ‘do.
“Suddenly, I hated everything about my old life. I didn’t get on with my friends, I hated sport and found my job boring.
“Everyone said I was more sarcastic [after the stroke], behaved differently and that even my mannerisms had changed, but to me the way I felt was natural. So I started avoiding seeing my old friends who wanted me to be someone I wasn’t,” he said.
This is quite the bizarre case. There have been reports before about stroke victims exhibiting out-of-character traits following their ordeals. Sometimes people become more artistic, others may experience shortened tempers, and there was even one case of an English-speaking woman who mysteriously became fluent in German. The brain is a funny thing. Perhaps Birch had a repressed feeling of homosexuality in his brain only for the stroke to open it up to him. Whatever the deal, it’s an interesting story!