BY NOREEN FAGAN – It seems pretty absurd that a burly rugby player can have a stroke, slip into a coma and wake up gay.

But that’s what happened to Chris Birch, he told the Daily Mail. By his own account, Birch was a rugby-playing, beer-swilling skinhead before he attempted to do a back flip in front of his friends. The flip failed, Birch broke his neck, suffered a stroke and fell into a coma. At that time, he was 19 years old, weighed 120 kilos and worked in a bank.

When Birch came out of the coma, he said, he woke up as a gay man.

“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.”

Birch embraced his new persona: he left banking to become a hairdresser, got a fancy haircut, dropped all his mates, lost 50 kilos and now, at 26, is happily living with his boyfriend.

That’s pretty radical and a little cliché – did he really have to wake up and want to be a hairdresser?

Birch said his neurologist told him that the stroke might have triggered something in his brain.

According to the Daily Telegraph, UK Stroke Association spokesman Joe Korner said, “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.”


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