Remember Chris Birch, the straight fellow who said a broken neck and a stroke turned him from a straight rugby-playing jock into a gay hairdresser?
Well, the 27-year-old Welsh fellow is back in the news! The BBC reports he still believes he wouldn’t be gay unless he’d suffered the accident, but that he’s happier with his new life.
“I was doing a forward roll down a grass bank one day and cut off the blood supply to my brain which caused a stroke to happen. It was from there, while I was recovering, that I realised I’d changed,” says Birch, from Caerphilly.
“The Chris I knew had gone and a new Chris sort of came along. I came to the realisation that the stroke had turned me gay.”
But Chris’ twinky 19-year-old fiance Jack Powell thinks he was bisexual or closeted before, and that perhaps the trauma made Birch take a deeper, more intimate look at his life.
“I’ve still got the same opinion that it was just something that was always there,” says Powell.
“People grow up not knowing they are gay and have families and then they realise they are gay, but they don’t have a stroke to realise that.”
Doctors are divided on the the issue of whether a stroke could turn you gay. Dr. Qazi Rahman thinks it could:
“Sometimes it takes something like a neurological insult – which is what a stroke is – to make you reassess those feelings, perhaps that are lying dormant, and bring them into the front of your mind and it is possible that is what has happened with [Birch]”.
But Dr. Sudad Jawad thinks not:
“Just like a stroke can change you as a person, your behaviour, your personality, the way you think, why not sexual orientation, it is part of the personality of the individual.”
What do you think—was he a bisexual closeted rugby jock whose trauma caused him to unearth hidden parts of his personality, or did the stroke really insert something into his personality that theretofore was nonexistent?