News | Rugby

Rugby Player Claims He Turned Gay and Became Hairdresser After Suffering Stroke

Chris Birch, a Welsh former rugby player, says that after breaking his neck during practice while doing a backflip, and then suffering a stroke, he woke up gay and decided to become a hairdresser.

BirchIt's a rather bizarre story from the UK's Daily Mail:

Before the accident Chris was planning on settling down with his girlfriend, although they were having a break from each other at the time of his accident. He worked in a bank and spent his weekends watching sport and drinking beer with his rugby friends. But after the stroke he found he was no longer interested in sport and had little in common with his old friends. He quit his job to become a hairdresser and started dating a man he met at a club night.

Birch says his neurologist told him the stroke may have opened a new area of his brain.

Said Birch: "It sounds strange but when I came round I immediately felt different. I wasn't interested in women any more. I was definitely gay. I had never been attracted to a man before - I'd never even had any gay friends. But I didn't care about who I was before, I had to be true to my feelings...Suddenly, I hated everything about my old life. I didn't get on with my friends, I hated sport and found my job boring. I started to take more pride in my appearance, bleached my hair and started working out. I went from a 19st skinhead to a 11st preened man. People I used to know barely recognised me and with my new look I became even more confident.'

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  1. Sure, hunty. If you say so.

    Posted by: Brian | Nov 8, 2011 2:40:21 PM

  2. *massive eye-roll*

    yeah. ok. or maybe a big health scare caused him to rethink his priorities in life and realize that living a lie is a waste, especially when this precious life can be taken away from you in an instant.

    i'm sure we've all heard similar stories from guys who come out and can't handle the "guilt" of admitting to having lived a lie who say "oh, wow, no, i mean this is just as much of a surprise to ME, i had NEVER though about guys in a sexual way before EVER and suddenly, you know, i like totally do. it's a NEW thing"

    or it's an old way to avoid feeling guilty or admitting to having lied. we get it - coming out is hard. but pretending you werent' gay before isn't exactly a noble way to go about it.

    is his story possible? i suppose. but it's unlikely. he's saying the same things a lot of us stopped saying when were were 18.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Nov 8, 2011 2:40:46 PM

  3. Uh okay . . . . Not quite sure what this is trying to say.

    Is this just a "huh, fancy that" article? Or is this something more pro/anti-gay? Seriously, I'm having trouble understanding the point this article is trying to make.

    On top of this- there must be ABSOLUTELY no reason for this guy to fudge his true feelings before the stroke *sarcasm*. While I'm certainly not averse to the idea that a stroke can completely change a person (I've seen plenty of documentaries that showed how an emotional artist would have a stroke and suddenly became a cold, unfeeling scientist or some such) I do have to say there felt like a few red flags in this story that leads me to believe his claims of complete straight-ness may not be entirely accurate. But whatever. If he's happy and now living his life the way he truly wants then more power to him.

    Posted by: Aedan | Nov 8, 2011 2:42:53 PM

  4. if you guys excuse me... i have sooo many str8s to hit in the head.

    Posted by: Raul | Nov 8, 2011 2:43:12 PM

  5. Raul gets an A for the day.

    Posted by: John Singletary | Nov 8, 2011 2:47:02 PM

  6. This seems like something more from The Weekly World News. IE. totally fictional.

    Posted by: Adam | Nov 8, 2011 2:55:08 PM

  7. Well, there's hope for Rick after all.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 8, 2011 2:55:10 PM

  8. I read this story some time ago and was skeptical. However, I have personally known several people who have had serious head injuries and it can definitely alter one's personality, sometimes dramatically... so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Happy ending in any case.

    Posted by: Married in MA | Nov 8, 2011 2:55:36 PM

  9. At least he's happy, that's all that matters in the end.

    Posted by: Francis | Nov 8, 2011 2:57:14 PM

  10. So he stroked off and turned gay?

    Ahh that brings back middle school memories.

    Posted by: Brandon H | Nov 8, 2011 2:57:29 PM

  11. Radical personality changes are hardly uncommon after massive brain injuries. Especially after damage to the prefrontal cortex. That has been well documented back in the 19th century already.

    There are other studies that show difference in brain structures and functions between straight and gay people. This certainly sounds weird, but it's not implausible

    Posted by: Steve | Nov 8, 2011 2:59:50 PM

  12. Raul has given new meaning to gay bashing.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Nov 8, 2011 3:00:49 PM

  13. Being gay is not a "personality change".

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Nov 8, 2011 3:02:12 PM

  14. For those of us who thought we'd heard everything! Of course, he still didn't choose to be gay, so it's neither one thing nor another politically. I don't see him switching back with medication or anything either. Of course, we'll be called brain damaged now by the far right.

    Posted by: anon | Nov 8, 2011 3:10:31 PM

  15. My first instinct is to jump on this and call him a liar. But looking at all the stories of brain damage, stroke, and other brain disorders, there is still so much about the brain and the nature of homosexuality that we still don't understand fully. Could he be lying? Yes, but could he be also telling the truth? Absolutely. Just because we don't understand something doesn't mean we have to be antagonistic about it. *side eye to all you gays out there*

    Posted by: Robert | Nov 8, 2011 3:19:20 PM

  16. Maybe that injury just ruptured the part of his brain he was using to stay in the closet.

    The implications of this article are just... ugh. Can we not go here, please?

    Posted by: Jesus | Nov 8, 2011 3:20:20 PM

  17. I don't believe him.

    I don't believe he's a hairdresser - look at his hair.

    Posted by: truthiness | Nov 8, 2011 3:22:00 PM

  18. Um, why do I feel like this is the groundwork for a strange explanation as to why he went on to star in adult films for Blake Mason and English Lads?

    Posted by: Keith | Nov 8, 2011 3:22:32 PM

  19. Why is this suprising most gays say they didn't choose to be gay so there fore there must be a biological/hormonal factor. Maybe the part of the brain that was affected by the stroke has something to do with sexual orientation.There are differences in male and female brains so there may be differences in hetero/homosexual people's brains.

    Posted by: Kim | Nov 8, 2011 3:24:39 PM

  20. So...if everything happens according to God's will (as the Christianists tell us), then it must have been God's will that Chris suffered a brain injury that changed his sexual orientation. Therefore, it must be God's will that Chris is gay. Ergo, God actually does create gay people, He doesn't hate them, and being gay isn't an abominable sin.

    Posted by: Brent | Nov 8, 2011 3:27:16 PM

  21. i think it's irritating because it's simply on more variation on the whole world of "i'm as surprised as you are to find out that i'm gay!" excuses that many of us told when were first Coming Out.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Nov 8, 2011 3:27:16 PM

  22. It's an article from the "Daily Fail"... I'd believe something from the "Weekly World News" before buying anything they print.

    Posted by: Rich F. | Nov 8, 2011 3:34:59 PM

  23. @Little Kiwi, People use "I'm as surprised as you are to find out that I'm gay!" as an excuse?

    Huh. I have never heard that before.

    Posted by: at | Nov 8, 2011 3:35:55 PM

  24. This reminds me of a girl in college who got hit by a car and then "became" not only a lesbian, but a shaved head, nose ring lesbian who then ran for office of the GLB org.

    I spoke to her and she seemed VERY sincere that she wasn't before.

    Now, if the studies about same sex attraction and "scents" are correct maybe the brain injury was in the part of the brain that governs scent or something? It's not insulting that someone has a brain injury and is gay if he's also happy and well-adjusted afterwards, is it?

    I'd think this is wonderful scientific fodder to explain that is it naturally-occurring and in the very makeup of the central nervous system...yeh?

    Or "neh"?

    Posted by: Rin | Nov 8, 2011 3:36:12 PM

  25. RFLMAO

    Posted by: Lexxvs | Nov 8, 2011 3:48:23 PM

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