Body & Sports

Stroke transforms 19st rugby man Chris Birch into gay hairdresser

Updated: 2011-11-09
Share this news?...Click box   Bookmark and Share
Read more on: gay after stroke   Chris Birch   wake up as gay  
New life: Chris now works as a hairdresser and lives above the shop with his boyfriend
 
Before the stroke: Chris Birch weighed 19 stone, worked in a bank and played rugby
 
A 19st rugby player suffered a stroke while training - and discovered when he woke up that he was gay.
 
Chris Birch, 26, had proposed to his girlfriend and worked in a bank when he suffered a freak accident in the gym.
 
The rugby-loving Welshman was trying to impress his friends with a back flip but broke his neck and suffered a stroke.

He was taken to the Royal Gwent hospital where his girlfriend and family waited for news - but said: 'I was gay when I woke up and I still am.'

His friends were stunned by the dramatic changes to his personality, especially his change in sexuality.
 
Chris said: '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.'

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.

Chris, of Ystrad Mynach, south Wales, said: '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.'

He said his family struggled to come to terms with his sudden change of identity so he decided to move out of home.

Chris retrained as a hairdresser and now lives with his partner Jack Powell, 19, above the salon in which he works.

He sought advice from his neurologist who said the changes in his personality could be due to the stroke opening up a different part of his brain.

There have been cases of patients waking up with different accents and of others becoming artists following strokes.

Chris said: 'I think I'm happier than ever, so I don't regret the accident. I'm nothing like the old Chris now and although I'm sorry it's upset my family, I wouldn't change a thing.'
 
Stroke association spokesman Joe Korner said: 'Strokes can have a big effect on individuals and lead to personality changes.
 
'During recovery the brain makes new neural connections which can trigger things people weren't aware of such as accent, language or perhaps a different sexuality.
 
'Whether or not the stroke turned Chris gay, or whether he was gay anyway but unaware of it, his experience seems to be a positive one, which is great.'
 
SOURCE: Daily Mail
 
Editorial Message
This site contains materials from other clearly stated media sources for the purpose of discussion stimulation and content enrichment among our members only.
whatsonxiamen.com does not necessarily endorse their views or the accuracy of their content. For copyright infringement issues please contact
editor@whatsonxiamen.com
Share this news?...Click box   Bookmark and Share
Comments Area ( Total Comments: 0 )