A tabloid-y tale from the U.K.’s Metro, but one that raises a host of interesting questions: Could a completely opposite person (with a different sexuality, even) be waiting, hidden, inside each of us? And can an injury really bring on this sort of change?
Former rugby player Chris Birch suffered a stroke in training and woke up to find he was gay. Mr. Birch was straight and engaged to be married when he suffered a freak accident in the gym. The 26-year-old tried to impress his friends with a back flip but broke his neck and suffered the stroke.
When he woke up, he underwent a drastic personality change that included an attraction to men. ‘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,’ he said.
Mr Birch broke off his engagement and found a boyfriend. He also left his job at a bank to retrain as a hairdresser. ‘I hated everything about my old life. I didn’t get on with my friends, I hated sport and found my job boring,’ he added.
Mr Birch, from Ystrad Mynach, South Wales, now lives with his partner Jack Powell, 19, above the salon where he works. He said: ‘I think I’m happier than ever. I even more confident. I’m nothing like the old Chris now but I wouldn’t change a thing.’
The personality change could have been caused by the stroke opening up a different part of his brain. 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.’