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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. I believe him because every it's a known fact that every straight rugby player does backflips during practice.

    Posted by: Bryant in Houston | Nov 8, 2011 3:52:30 PM

  2. C'mon people, it's the Daily Mail. The Daily Mail. Listen to Dan and Dan's Daily Mail song.

    Posted by: Elsewhere | Nov 8, 2011 3:57:51 PM

  3. it's not as surprising or as fallible as many would think. severe brain trauma results in many unusual changes, like people regaining conciousness and who now possess the ability to speak a heretofore foreign language. perhaps his trauma released his long suppressed and/or denied sexual reality rather than the one he chose.

    also, we should probably all remember that this is the same newspaper that last month reported that the midget porn star doppelganger of the annoying loudmouth English chef (oxymoron?) had been killed and partially consumed by a badger.

    and aren't all Englishmen gay anyhow? just look at Prince Hot Ginge for proof.

    Posted by: vwdavy | Nov 8, 2011 4:01:52 PM

  4. I know I'm gay every time I stroke.

    Posted by: CarlottaVonFunkenhowzer | Nov 8, 2011 4:10:38 PM

  5. Yeah but he's still Welsh. No brain injury fixes that.

    Posted by: andy | Nov 8, 2011 4:38:53 PM

  6. Colour me skeptical. I think Occam's would have an issue here.

    I'm not judging, just saying.

    Posted by: Mike Hipp | Nov 8, 2011 4:42:35 PM

  7. Honey no. no .... no .... ok ...just. no.

    in all seriousness he seems like someone desperately looking for a away out, and this is what he found ... little ridicules, but at least he is happy now. Enjoy your life, Chris.

    Posted by: artsenyc | Nov 8, 2011 5:39:01 PM

  8. So having a stroke can make you gay. I must have had my stroke at a very young age, because I've always loved me some men.

    Posted by: mytwocents | Nov 8, 2011 5:39:20 PM

  9. Oh, Prunella!

    Posted by: Brian | Nov 8, 2011 5:49:01 PM

  10. Hmmm odd, I had a stroke 2 years ago at the age of 21 and I didn't wake up straight, though would have been strange if I did. No side effects so to speak- but have never heard of this happening before.

    Posted by: mike | Nov 8, 2011 6:14:42 PM

  11. I'd much rather hear him say he almost died and decided to just live his life. :)

    Posted by: Benny the Jet | Nov 8, 2011 7:30:38 PM

  12. I swear I have read this story before somewhere else. So it's just the DailyMail

    Posted by: Steve | Nov 8, 2011 7:49:33 PM

  13. This week on Fantasy Island...

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Nov 8, 2011 7:54:12 PM

  14. So having a stroke can make you become a hairdresser? Wow!

    Posted by: truthteller | Nov 9, 2011 1:50:08 AM

  15. "A good way to come out: for Halloween go as a gay guy and then just keep being gay forever."


    Posted by: terence | Nov 9, 2011 8:04:56 AM

  16. Wow....same thing happened to me! I used to "date" girls, then when I was working in Japan at age 19 I went to a club and met this beautiful French boy, drank a lot, went home with him and woke up GAY! French models, Japan and alcohol causes homosexuality. I still like sports though...maybe I needed to bump my head harder on the headboard...

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Nov 9, 2011 9:23:56 AM

  17. I'm befuddled by those who are antagonistic about this. First, traumatic brain injury/stroke/etc. can cause dramatic changes, and I'm not sure where you think the difference between hetero- and homosexuality originates if not in the brain. When we describe being gay as how we are wired or who we are, we're describing brain function. Second, who uses the "I'm as shocked as you are!" excuse when coming out? I've known hundreds of gays and coming out stories and never heard this variation. Third, many groups think we're brain damaged anyways, so I don't see this as adding fuel to their fire; they're inherently unreasonable anyways.

    Posted by: Stefan | Nov 9, 2011 10:04:27 AM

  18. And now he's the only gay in the village.

    Posted by: Book 7 | Nov 9, 2011 10:16:51 AM

  19. When I woke up today I was gay too! Yay! Still a carpenter by trade though. That's odd...

    Posted by: kodiak | Nov 9, 2011 10:59:10 AM

  20. Funny, I had a friend in high school who "turned" gay after a car accident, I was in an accident too but failed to "turn" str8...WTH!!

    Posted by: Johnny | Nov 9, 2011 11:14:08 AM

  21. Um, different strokes for different folks, I guess.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Nov 9, 2011 11:15:49 AM

  22. @Jamal49: perfection. One of the funniest things I've read on Towleroad.

    As for the "I'm as surprised as you are!" comment, I've never heard it either. Instead my mother said, "Well, if I had to guess which one of the five boys would be gay, it would be you."

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 9, 2011 11:52:38 AM

  23. Somehow I think age and maturity is a larger factor in this amazing "transformation." I think he is using his stroke as a convenient excuse for his true feelings. So easy to come out when you can blame it on something you don't have control over (e.g. stroke, devil, over-bearing mother, etc.)

    Posted by: J. Page | Nov 9, 2011 12:16:34 PM

  24. A lot of you people surprise me. If you truly believe it's nature over nurture then why couldn't his story be true? If your sexuality is hard wired in your brain then why couldn't a stroke change that? Why do you need to comment on a medical condition you know nothing about.

    Posted by: Curt | Nov 9, 2011 1:37:36 PM

  25. "Second, who uses the "I'm as shocked as you are!" excuse when coming out? I've known hundreds of gays and coming out stories and never heard this variation."

    I'm pretty sure you've not been involved in LGBT Outreach the way that I have been for the last decade. The whole "I just woke up one day and suddenly was into guys" thing is used more often than you think - here in the US i've heard it from SO many gay Mormons. Especially those who Come Out later in life, in their mid-thirties onward. It's a way to absolve themselves of guilt or responsibility - which is exactly what this lad in this story is doing. It's something that a lot of guys say when they're still grappling with the "guilt" over having lied, and it's most often tied to those with conservative religious connections.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Nov 9, 2011 1:48:06 PM

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