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A stroke turned him gay.


Camy

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Following a stroke, Chris Birch's personality and sexuality altered dramatically. Now he is trying to rediscover who he is and why these changes may have happened.

"It's like looking at somebody else, but with my face only younger, and in all fairness, if I met myself I'd probably carry on walking."

Looking at past pictures of himself, 27-year-old Chris Birch struggles to remember or identify with his old self. He used to be a 19-stone, beer-swilling, party-loving rugby fan from the Welsh valleys, the life and soul of a party. He worked in a bank and loved sport and motorbikes.

After a freak accident in 2011, he says he underwent a big change to his personality. He believes that he has gone from being straight to gay.

"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.

"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."

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There's quite a bit of discussion going on about this, elsewhere. Some are suggestiing that he was probably gay and closeted, possibly even in denial, before the stroke, and in recovery had a 'life's too short' moment and decided to come out. Personally, I don't want to cast doubt on the guy's truthfulness, but I can understand and sympathise with a young man carried along by peer pressure to conform, and finding the resulting lifestyle increasingly irksome, perhaps coming to consider himself trapped in the wrong life. A life-changing incident such as a stroke could easily be the excuse such a man would need to make a break with a lifestyle that he'd come to dislike. Easier to say 'the stroke changed me' than to admit 'I've been lying to you all these years'.

Another concern I have with the programme is its implied stereotyping of straight men and gay men - he used to be a 19-stone beer-swilling rugby lover (so he must have been straight?) and now he's a hairdresser (so he must be gay). Can't straight men work as hairdressers? Or gay men follow rugby? Do I have to hand in my Gay card?

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Shutting off blood to the brain is what does it, huh? I never knew that. But it does clear something up. From about the age of 12 on, I had my blood diverted somewhere else much of the time and often it seemed there had to be little left for the brain. And that was about the time, too, that certain boys caught my fancy. So what he says makes a lot of since.

Probably for a lot of us.

C

(I am joking, you know.)

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:rotfl: Luggie.

You know, you hear cases where someone had some major event (stroke, coma, etc.) and had a personality shift and suddenly they speak a foreign language or have some other new ability.

This is the first time I've heard it "made someone gay." Hmm..."made" him gay? Now where have I heard that one before? Oh yeah, Johnny was hanging around Big Gay Jimmy, and that (of course!) turned him gay. (Johnny, not Jimmy.) (Wait, what about Jimmy again...? LOL.)

Like with other cases of that "newfound ability," I'm reserving my judgment on this one. I can't refute or confirm either way, except these cases seem to have some ordinary obscure person suddenly develop an ability no one knew they had before.

So, if that, then well, why *couldn't* someone "turn gay" as a result of a stroke? What is it that causes a person to be straight or gay, anyway?

I just hope the guy will be a good guy and happy with himself and others. If he likes guys now, well, good for him.

Much as Cole describes, around a certain age, I began to discover that I liked other boys and had this quite diverting shift of blood to another part of the body. My brain seemed to like the idea a whole lot too. I wasn't quite sure what to make of the whole thing, but that didn't stop it from being so. Oddly enough, stroking seemed to clarify things somewhat. More practice with a lab partner here and there would've done a lot to resolve the questions I had.

Kidding aside, really, I hope whatever the case is, that he is happy and treating people well.

Um, "Go, Team!" Might be in order, maybe?

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