A Welsh athlete claims that he “woke up gay” after succumbing to a stroke as a result of a gym accident.
Chris Birch, a former rugby player said that he was trying to show off in front of friends by doing a back flip. In doing so he broke his neck and suffered a stroke. He was immediately transported to a hospital and said that he woke up with an extremely different personality.
"It sounds strange but when I came round I immediately felt different," Birch said.
The 26-year-old said that he truly noticed a difference in his sexuality while watching a TV show featuring a handsome actor.
"I felt my stomach flutter and the same feelings I used to have for pretty girls,” Birch said. "I had never felt like that about a man before but I knew immediately what the feeling was. I fancied him."
He also revealed that he was no longer interested in sports and could not connect to old friends because his interests changed.
Once he accepted his new sexuality, Birch lost weight and eventually left his job as a banker to become a hairdresser. He now lives with his 19-year-old boyfriend Jack Powell in an apartment above the salon where he works.
Although there are no prior reports tying strokes to sexuality changes, Joe Korner, director of communications for The Stroke Association of the U.K. suggests that strokes have the potential of causing drastic impacts in a person’s life.
"Strokes are traumatic, life-changing experiences, which can make you reassess life and your feelings, so perhaps that's the reason behind it," Korner told reporters. "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."