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Documentary on stroke victim who ‘woke up gay’ airs tonight

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  1. It’s all a bit sensationalist; somehow i can see this being used as fodder by the homophobic institutions. At best this is a gentleman who always had those feelings deep down and the stroke ‘released’ them in some way. At worst its a young closeted gay man who saw the stroke as an opportunity to have an ‘excuse’ for being gay, and is now loving the attention.

    1. If there was an orientation change due to the stroke that Mr Birch had then I would see this as no different to people who have had changes in behaviour, accent etc following stroke (proving that he was previously heterosexual and now gay will never be possible to demonstrate – and the possibility that he had either been gay or bisexual and in denial has to be a possibility).
      An example of people changing in surprising ways after stroke:
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/tyne/5144300.stm

    2. Lyuba Allenivna Tereshchenko 17 Apr 2012, 3:37pm

      Am I bad person for laughing at this story? I’m sorry he had stroke, but becoming gay from it sounds like some kind of joke told in frat houses.

    3. You are right Bruno. The anti-gays Christian use this for their propaganda. He was born gay and is using this stroke thing to come out of the closet. Everybody knows that God makes gays, since the beginning and everyday. What is wrong with these anti-gay Christians?

      1. Unless you are a neurologist or neuroscientist, (and ideally studied Mr Birchs case) then I tend to prefer the explanation of the patient and his clinical team – to your second guesses.

  2. I woke up gay once. He was really annoyed at being woken so early too…….

    1. I woke up grumpy early this morning, perhaps tomorrow I’ll let him sleep in.

    2. He was gay in the first place and the stroke is an excuse he is using to come out of the closet. Some people are so repressed that it is possible that they are gay and hide is even from them selves but sooner or later it comes out. This is how he came out. Everybody know God make gays to be born gay and this for some reason drives the anti-gay Christians crazy so they jump on these stories. Perhaps some of the anti-gay Christians are not just crazy but really deep in the closet gay and they think that by attacking gays they will not be found out to be gay. Ted Haggard a well know anti-gay Christian minister who was married and had children and a large Christian church and following and even President Bush advisor was found with a gay man having sex and drugs. Gays are born every day and we all know that. Why are these Christians refusing to believe what has been happening since the beginning of man? After all God creates man, gay and straight.

  3. What Jak said… it seems far more likely that Chris was always latently gay and that a brush with death caused him to reevaluate his priorities and come out.
    Though I would be intrigued if they can back up the stroke theory of gay determinism with anything scientific… surely if stokes could cause that kind of personality overhaul there’d be more documented cases of it.

    1. @flapjack

      The reality is that we understand relatively little of what happens in the brain. So if you have a perfusion problem due to a spontaneous event caused by a bleed or clot (as in a stroke) there are so many variables of what can happen. Not only can permanent or temporary damage occur (depending on the nature of the bleed/clot and the length of time that elapses prior to it being resolved) but the location will have an impact on the manifestations of damage that could occur eg sight, cognition, perception, memory, taste, language, comprehension etc etc.
      There are examples of people changing in surprising ways post-stroke ranging for foreign accent syndrome to ideological viewpoint changes, changes in taste in food and fashion to changing in personality from shy to extremely demonstrative. A change of sexual orientation would be unusual (but then so is a change of accent!) but can not be ruled out as many factors could be changed by stroke.

    2. danielmclion 18 Apr 2012, 11:49pm

      Sorry, but there are many “undocumented” things who are actually “unpublished” things. One case of a strange thing remains unpublished until many more come up. That happened even with AIDS until some 100.000 men had already died with more ore less (!) common simptoms but undiagnosed before the first publishing in 1984, still stating that there was no clue what caused it except that it was likely a virus doing something with the anti-bodies. According to the whole med. staff ot the AMC in Amsterdam I am a mystery since 1994! Nothing is normal and still, I cannot be diagnosed yet. So… Am I faking all those simptoms? Nope! And the list of medication grew by the year to keep “the undiagnosed” simptoms under control. The only thing they can tell is: (with my permission) My medical records are updated every 3 months all over the world under cover and studies do take place all over the world. But it’s not published yet although very well documented.

  4. I guess this could be suggestive of homosexuality being linked to brain physiology. Although there is no ethical or legitimate way to explore this.

    If the documentary could show a before and after MRI/brain scan, that could be interesting in terms of exploring what actually changed – which parts of the brain might have become injured and which, if any, dormant ones might have compensated. But why would they happen to have a “before” of an otherwise healthy man?

    Or it could be that a brush with death widened his horizons a bit.

    It’s an interesting story, but I don’t know that there is a great deal of meaning or enlightenment to be found in it.

    I’m happy that he has found happiness and survived a brain trauma without any dangerous or detrimental side effects (mobility, speech etc).

    1. It would be interesting to see a before and after MRI/CT but unless Mr Birch actually had cause to have had a scan prior to the cerebral event that occurred then this will be impossible.

      I have not heard of any research that seeks to hypothesize that physiological presentation etc of the brain can enable accurate prediction of orientation. Although, I could see how this event could lead some to reach this as a potential conclusion.

      It could be due to perception and emotional changes post injury (not due to physical change, but due to the trauma of the event, makes Mr Birch re-evaluate who he is and how he interacts with the world). However, I still do not fully understand that as unless Mr Birch had some latent homosexuality or bisexuality then I find that as an option that is difficult to logically explain.

      Every individual is unique, in terms of the fine details of their physiology, to their psyche and their experiences. Mr Birch clearly has changed – why that has happened?

      1. danielmclion 18 Apr 2012, 11:52pm

        Every individual .. <<. Exactly! See some of my other replies.

  5. Really? People should recognize false information when they see it. This poor kid had probably known for a long time that he was gay but lived in a homophobic environment and couldn’t come out. Having a stroke has no effect on one’s genetics (= a stroke does NOT turn you gay/straight/bi/trans/asexual/etc.). Get it right people!

    This is kind of annoying too because there are unfortunately people out there who actually believe this stuff.
    Congrats to him for coming out tho and for being engaged!
    (Even if you had to blame it on a stroke lmao)

    But yea.. a pretty ridiculous story.

    1. That rather assumes one’s sexual orientation is genetic.

    2. Well, I’m curious and am looking forward to seeing the programme before I decide for myself whether it’s false or not, even though I agree it seems unlikely in the extreme.

      In any event, I thought the jury’s out on the genetic component since no ‘gay gene’ has yet been identified?

      There are recorded instances of strokes affecting people’s speech in unexpected ways though, like that Yorkshirewoman who started speaking with a French accent: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/572528.stm Suddenly developing a taste for cock does seem a little extreme by comparison though!

      1. Well, yes it might seem extreme …

        Unless we know the area of the brain affected and the damage caused it would be impossible to say whether its a feasible explanation or not.

        Even then, our knowledge of the brain is limited and it would be difficult to rule in or out that the stroke was a cause of the change.

    3. lmfao right on brother

    4. You make it sound like genetics STORES ones sexuality! If sexuality is determined by genetics, then it is the case that genetics CODES for it. The stroke may have simply changed something that would normally be determined by genetics anyway.

      The extent and localisation of damage to brain regions is dependent on many factors, some impairments are unique to the person. I don’t think the guy is using the stroke as an excuse, nor am I ruling out that the guy has always been predisposed to being gay. Perhaps he was inhibiting it, and the stroke damaged his ability to inhibit it. Either way he didn’t identify as gay before, but now he does. As a Psychology student with particular interest in neuroscience I would certainly be interested in knowing more… Keep an open mind, I suspect some people believe this new information is implying something bad. If anything it supports the idea that sexuality is biological!

      1. Sorry I didn’t phrase that very well. I meant that sometimes the changes resulting from a stroke can be unique to the person. Also a single case with such limited information, and inadequate control data would be difficult to interpret even by neuropsychologists. Not to mention the complexity of the variable being studied! The bloke sounds like he’s getting on with life though which is great :)

    5. danielmclion 18 Apr 2012, 11:13pm

      Excuse me… You’re a Dr.? How do you “know” that having (had) a stroke does NOT ….. .??? Sorry John (anonimous!) but you’re pretending to be someone who could know!? This story may be completely acted, but does it mean that a stroke or T.I.A. cannot change your sexual preffence? How do YOU know that??? Based on what? Right, based on prejudice! :(

  6. I’m glad that he is happy, but I’m very concerned about the kind of ammunition this is going to give to the “being gay is a choice/illness” homophobes.

    I agree with the people here who say that it’s far more likely that he already had those thoughts and feelings, and his brush with death forced them to the surface.

    1. The response would be – Being gay is possibly a outcome of due to physiology in terms brain structure and/or chemistry. In other words – we ARE born this way (pending a serious brain injury that can cause changes).

      Sadly, the lobotomising of LGBT people has been a “therapy” in the past. We dismiss it is savagery now and must roundly and aggressively condemn anyone who would see a return to that practice (I am sure that we could find aspects of them that would be greatly improved by lobotomy. Simply invite them – after you).

  7. I don’t see why we should not take this stroke victim’s word for it. Afterall he is the only real expert of himself.

    BBC News today “consultant neuro-psychiatrist Dr Sudad Jawad has worked with young people who have had strokes and has come across a similar case in his practice of a man whose sexuality changed from homosexual to heterosexual.
    “Just like a stroke can change you as a person, your behaviour, your personality, the way you think, why not sexual orientation, it is part of the personality of the individual,” says Jawad.”

    1. If sexuality is strongly Influenced by neurological entries (eg hypothalamus, superchiasmatic nucleus, etc) then there is a chance that brain damage could affect sexuality. However by the time this guy had the stroke one would expect quite a few things in his brain would have been configured on his brain towards heterosexuality therefore I am skeptical that the stroke created a kind of on/off sexuality switch in and of itself. Bear in mind that heterosexuals are capable of enjoying certain gay sex acts (prison etc) then perhaps the stroke caused damage that simply uncovered a more ir less clear latency. He did report that it was an immediate thing on waking.

      It’s fascinating and tells us that sexuality is partly hard wired and any attempts to change through therapy are hopelessly doomed. Also that sexuality is very much, as we have always said, in born, since neurological outcomes that are gender differentiated start when androgens first flush the embryo.

    2. danielmclion 19 Apr 2012, 2:09am

      Sorry, these thumb up-down are to close and instead of up, it was recorded down:( But count one up!

  8. Bella Brahms 17 Apr 2012, 10:39am

    The emperor has new clothes.

  9. I’d like to see what the professional medical opinions are on this because I’m hearing a guy using a stroke as an excuse come out and blame something else rather than “brain damage made me gay”

  10. Clearly his stroke also removed his sense of inner style if that horrendous hairdo, he sports, is anything to go by.

    As for whether the stroke turned him gay or not, well I don’t know. Brain trauma can do many things.

    1. dAVID

      How do you know his hair was not worse in advance?

    2. Staircase2 24 Apr 2012, 2:24am

      David you really are a vicious, horrible little man aren’t you…

  11. playing rugby and drinking is ‘straight’ being a hairdresser with an 80s Flock of Seagulls style is ‘gay’?

    Stereotype much?

    1. His sexuality is not a choice.

      That appalling hairstyle is most certainly his own choice.

      1. danielmclion 19 Apr 2012, 2:03am

        Wish I had enoug hair to have something like his! Great!!, love it!

      2. Staircase2 24 Apr 2012, 2:27am

        …like I said: “David you really are a vicious, horrible little man aren’t you…”

    2. GingerlyColors 17 Apr 2012, 2:24pm

      The lead singer of A Flock Of Seagulls was Mike Score. Who says New Romanticism is dead?

      1. danielmclion 19 Apr 2012, 2:07am

        Not me! :)

  12. Oh come on.Gave you an excuse to be a bit camp maybe but turned you Gay?
    I don’t think so.

    1. I’ll be it was his childhood ambition to look like a Vileda Supermop.

      And his stroke gave him the perfect excuse.

  13. While I am sure that this is going to be an interesting documentary, I think that timing by the BBC is wrong.

    All this is going to do is add fuel to the being gay is a choice brigade and that your sexuality can change.

    I think that it is quite irresponsible of the BBC to show it until after the same sex marriage consultation is completed.

    1. Surely it shows that it isn’t a choice and is more to do with what is going on in the brain. Having seen a stroke patient going through recovery and the changes in personality I can totally believe that the stroke made him gay.

      1. I’m not denying that at all, after all there is also evidence of people recovering froms trokes with different accents.

        I just feel that the timing of the programme is wrong given all the press recently concerning sexuality, surely this programme is only going to feed the likes for the COM campaing amongst others? I also worry how the BBC will have edited the show overall. They have been a little too one sided on issues regarding sexuality at the moment, in my opinion.

      2. I agree, Dromio its a possibility.

        That said, I am concerned that some homophobes might wish to extrapolate that possible conclusion to leading to suggest that being gay is caused by some level of brain damage.

        I know CT/MRI comparisons have been made of people of different orientations as part of (at least two) studies. They found no difference in the scans that could be correlated to orientation. Thus, whilst Mr Birch’s orientation “change” may be theorized as being due to his cerebral event, this does not lead to having evidence that all gay people have some cerebral pathology that is “abnormal”.

        1. Dr Robin Guthrie 17 Apr 2012, 11:59am

          A study at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm has provided strong evidence that sexuality is a biologically fixed trait demonstrated in physical brain differences.

          Specifically, key brain structures in homosexuals which govern “mood, anxiety and aggressiveness” resemble those in heterosexuals of the opposite sex – something likely to have been “forged” in the womb and not the result of later learning processes.

          Savic and Lindström put a group of 90 volunteers through the MRI scanner – 25 heterosexuals and 20 homosexuals of each gender – to determine their overall brain shape and volume. The results showed that straight chaps boasted asymmetric brains, “with the right hemisphere slightly larger”, something they shared with lesbians.

          Gay men, however, demonstrated symmetrical brains, in common with straight women.

          SOURCE: http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread561187/pg1

          1. There was a study at a Chinese university where correlates were also found correlates. There was a Canadian study confirming atypical patterns of hemispheric functional asymmetry. There are other brain studies in humans and of course the sheep hypothalamus study which support the hypothesis that sexual orientation has a neurobiological basis. This is the very thing that Cire Issues and Narth don’t want to hear. Changing the hypothalamus by an act of will is not possible. The brain is complex. Sexuality is subtle. There is NO possibility (outside sci fi) that a brain zap in the right place could reliably modify sexuality.

          2. Interesting Dr Guthrie

            I had only been aware of Swaab’s studies prior to the one that you highlight.

            It seems that not only neurophysiology but also endocrinology may be key to interuterine development and determination of a range of factors including orientation (I shall go away and read some more!)

          3. Dr Robin Guthrie 17 Apr 2012, 1:24pm

            I think though that despite these studies, even if they prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that homosexuality is inbuilt, we will still get angst for it from the usual quarters as generally these types do not do “FACTS”

          4. @Dr Guthrie

            It’s undoubtedly true that some will continue to suggest that orientation is a choice. Some of those will be due to their indoctrination, some due to misunderstanding the facts and some for other reasons.

            The bits I have read of the research that you mention make the suggestion of inter uterinal development being key in the determination of orientation is much more convincing than some of the arguments I have read previously. It would be interesting to see if there is further research which either reinforces this or extends the conclusions already obtained.

        2. Cheddar Gorge – don’t be ridiculous. More like somewhere in the South Downs where the patient can get up a good speed and execute a number of therapeutic rolls without fear of dropping off a cliff.

          1. Oops – wrong reply box.

          2. This seems to be a reply to my post but out of place, anyway Cheddar Gorge came to mind because it’s (I think) where the tradition is to roll a cheese down a steep slope and the local lads compete to chase after it.

  14. My guess is that the stroke dulled his need to project a masculine front more than anything, maybe even dulled the attraction that he had towards women leaving latent gay feelings as his dominant orientation. Strokes are strange things though. Maybe we should just accept his take on it.

  15. Next the bogus ex-gay ministries will be having gays do dangerous forward rolls down Cheddar Gorge in the hopes that it will cut off the blood supply to their gay dupes brains and turn them straight.
    Kill or cure(lol)

    1. Correction, make that Coopers Hill Gloucester
      where they have the Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake

  16. Insensitivity aside, am I the only person that finds this story strangely arousing? Anyway, I think the stroke just made him feel more comfortable with himself, perhaps before, he was the sort of guy that was wrapped up in denial and the stroke helped him to forget that.

    1. He claims in the bbc article that he can scarcely remember his previous life. He probably always had the feelings, maybe he was just too far in denial to accept them.

  17. I suspect a wind-up here, though not necessarily a conscious one on Chris’ part. – “happier now than I ever have been”.
    I think that that says it all, and that if what I suspect about Welsh rugby-playing culture is true, that this guy spent a lot of time in that environment denying his feelings so profoundly that he was barely aware of them. Sometimes a crisis or trauma can make you take stock of your own mortality and make you face what you have been running away from.

  18. Kay Russell 17 Apr 2012, 1:05pm

    I filmed with Chris during this I have foreign accent syndrome which Stu has eluded to. Sadly the interview has not been included however I was asked to be interviewed based on what it is like to have an extreme rare condition which is life changing, how it feels to go through this and how others – family/friends as well as general public react to this. Foreign Accent Syndrome is a speech impediment that is brought on by a neurological cause eg stroke, hemiplegic migraine. To the ear of the listener it makes it sound that the sufferer is foreign to their native country of origin. eg I’m English but to many sound French/Eastern European to others. Impossible to fake has other impacts – memory/concentration span loss, loss of identity. The brain is a complex area, the wiring so intricate that what appears to be unlikely can happen. Chris has been through a lot unfairly, double whammy of disbelief it can happen and question of his sexaulity Please acknowledge this, don’t judge

    1. Hi Kay,

      If it wasn’t for the prejudice that could make a person hide the fact that they’re gay and then use an opportunity like this to come out, I’d feel a lot less cynical about it.

      You’re right that the brain is complex, but it’s also reasonable to think that he was gay all along!

      It’s not a very helpful story, as it infers we (gay people) can change – stroke or not stroke.

      1. @James

        I agree that orientation is not a choice.

        That orientation could be changed due to cerebral trauma does not alter that fact. In fact, in my opinion it reinforces it in one sense. Notwithstanding, that its feasible that Mr Birch may have been suppressing his orientation, if his being gay is linked to his cerebral event – then this presupposes that he was heterosexual prior to the event. If true, then it is unlikely that he would choose to be gay. It is also likely that he would choose to have a stroke. If there is a connection between the stroke and his subsequent identification with being orientated gay, then this was no more a choice than you or I have had a choice in determining our orientation.

        Its easily possible that Mr Birch was suppressing (whether consciously or not) his gay or bisexual orientation prior to the stroke and that the emotional impact of the events led him to recognise and express his “real” orientation.

        Its also possible that somehow the lack of

        1. perfusion caused by the cerebral hemorrhagic or embolytic event led to a change in either physiology or chemistry within the brain which led to changes in perception etc.

      2. Kay Russell 17 Apr 2012, 7:17pm

        James I can understand you’re concern however this is where people in general irrespective of sexuality need to look at bigger pictures. In my situ with FAS we get accused a lot of faking our condition when this is impossible, peoples think that we can do other accents when we can’t, its not anything we have control over. When something unusual happens to someone, the person who is affected is the one that is under scrutiny, misjudged, condemned in some instances, prejudiced against in what is already a totally bewildering world that they have just been thrown into, there are no choices made, it just happens. I’ve had all sorts thrown at me from faking it, multiple personality disorders to being accused of being a she devil, needing exorcism. All of this is far from the truth and the reality of what I have. In general people label things into what they understand rather than what the reality is, to make themselves feel better rather than try and comprehend the reality

  19. Mrs Lesley Pilkington exonerated, sexuality can be changed, although she would hope it would be other way round

    1. Not proven.

      We do not know whether he was suppressing his orientation before or not.

      In any event, even if this is a change in orientation – then its not through therapy, its through a bleed or clot/embolism in the brain.

      1. errr, i was being sarcastic, doh

        1. Sorry!

          I didnt think you would usually make such a comment.

          Sometimes its difficult to accurately gauge humour on here ;-)

          1. mea culpa, i admit sarcastic narrative wasnt accentuated enough

    2. Apparently unfalsifiable so not much use as evidence, a hint perhaps toward suggesting that straights can turn gay but it’s nothing to do with “therapy” and hardly proof that “therapy” can achieve change of any kind… plus it offers no support to the suggestion that gays can turn straight or be turned straight.

      1. if what he says is true, i would say he had a lucky escape. stroke can often result in a serious disability

  20. I had a stroke in 2002, years after a divorce and being by myself. After the stroke I knew I had to do something I ought to have done decades earlier. I am now living with my male partner and the happiest I can remember being. For me, the stroke had been a wake up call, stop fannying around, only one life, not a rehearsal etc etc. It didn’t make me gay, it made me do something positive.

    1. danielmclion 19 Apr 2012, 12:11am

      Hear, hear! :)

  21. This is what I call the Cupid Stunt defence: “and all my clothes fall off!”

  22. GingerlyColors 17 Apr 2012, 2:21pm

    This is further proof that all our brains are wired differently and a stroke can cause a brain to ‘rewire’ itself. Another interesting medical phenominon is transplant patients taking on the personality of the people who donated their organs to them. I do not know what is the NHS’s policy of accepting organs from gay people but I have signed up to the NHS Organ Register and there is nothing to say that I cannot donated organs in the event of my untimely demise. If someting were to happen to me then I am not only more than happy to let someone else have my spare parts, I will also look forward to giving them some happiness in their lives!

  23. I can only imagine that anti-gay, bigoted hate groups will pour money into stroke research to preserve the sanctity of strokes – or, perhaps, start a campaign to outlaw strokes entirely.

    1. they’ll probably fund research into anti-gay strokes that make gay people wake up straight.

    2. They can try – but no law is going to prevent someone having a stroke if the circumstances are right in their body ;-)

  24. I can only imagine that anti-gay, bigoted hate groups will start pouring money into stroke research to preserve the sanctity of strokes or, perhaps, start a campaign to outlaw strokes entirely.

  25. Apparently it may work both ways – !!

    Yet consultant neuro-psychiatrist Dr Sudad Jawad has worked with young people who have had strokes and has come across a similar case in his practice of a man whose sexuality changed from homosexual to heterosexual.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17703018

  26. What I don’t understand is why he didn’t just continue playing rugby, keep on the weight, keep the same hair style and keep his private life private. This is what most gay people do – they just get on with their lives and deal with their private lives in a dignified manner and not go looking for money via the media. People like this really get on my nerves and their clearly lunatic claims just help out the homophobes. Get a life pal – we’re not all stereotype dummies!

    1. Maybe the difference in brain chemistry/physiology caused a change to his behaviour traits too?

      Or maybe he was suppressing his orientation and always felt this was how he wanted to express himself but resisted due to self suppression?

      Or maybe he was suppressing his orientation and is now over compensating?

  27. I believe that a stroke could have changed his sexuality, I just find it hard to believe in this case as he’s also become the stereotype.

  28. Piper Peter 17 Apr 2012, 3:47pm

    Created not made- proves what we have known all along that it is part of the personality which non-gays don’t have. This has been seen in modern research. Theologians take note!

  29. Steve Sampson 17 Apr 2012, 4:19pm

    I have a real problem with all of this. I’ve been gay my whole life. I think this is perhaps a way that this young man can come to grips with something he has always frightened him.

  30. chris lowcase 17 Apr 2012, 4:21pm

    lets at least watch the docu before we make our minds up on his sexuality. i believe he can offer the best insight on this.

    1. danielmclion 18 Apr 2012, 4:22am

      So I’ve watched it. Don’t know if it isnt indeed a made up story. But very well possible true. But he looks much much better now than on those “before” pics. :) Interesting part is the pile of hate mail from gays who don’t know him and react on the story, even before the doc has aired. I think it’s the same here too. Prejudice is not a straights only habit! ;)

      1. chris lowcase 18 Apr 2012, 11:23pm

        if im honest, i buy into the theory that he was always gay. though i know nothing of medical science, neither do i know the guy well enough to say that with any confidence. but like you say he seems to be happy. who are we to question.

        and yeah sadly anybody with half a brain can hate. its easy to see why some people worried about how this could be used in any form of opposition to gay rights but its important to remember gay right now speak for him.

  31. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Apr 2012, 4:40pm

    I’m very sceptical. I doubt if any trauma to the head or brain would cause a sudden change in sexual orientation. He’s probably a latent gay male, probably in denial prior to the injury. If it were the case, why aren’t we hearing more straights becoming gay after suffering a stroke? What next, gay people turning straight after suffering a stroke? I can just hear the Daily Mail and Telegraph mouthing off about this one.

    1. The Daily Mail reported it in November last year, relatively sympathetically for the Mail:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2058921/Chris-Birch-stroke-Rugby-player-wakes-gay-freak-gym-accident.html

      1. NB The Mail even report of another person having changed orientation post stroke in their article.

        I don’t like the Mail but this report isnt bad!

      2. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Apr 2012, 6:10pm

        Surprising too although I can imagine the negative comments from many of its readership.

    2. In the programme they mentioned someone who turned straight after a stoke. There are many interesting stories of people with strange changes after damage to their brain, in particular, I remember a book I was meaning to read titled “the man who mistook his wife for a hat”. Changing sexuality really don’t seem that impossible put next to all the other strange cases out there.

  32. Nonsense he was gay all along, just very deep in hiding in the closet. Like some of these anti-gay Christians who think no body knows they are gay because they bash gays.

  33. Paddyswurds 17 Apr 2012, 9:07pm

    If this dude only became gay a couple of years ago, how come he is suddenly so “nellie” If anyone believes this story , i have a bridge in New York I want to sell you…cheap. BTW Where are the pics from when he was a big butch rugger?? bugger…..lol
    Nah, I just don’t buy it.

    1. There are pics of him as a rugger player in the Daily Mail article I gave a link to above

      1. Paddyswurds 18 Apr 2012, 2:36pm

        @Stu….
        ….don’t you think this is a bit of a “world war 2 plane found on the moon” story…..the sort of tripe one might see in the National Enquirer or any of those silly mags sold to airhead women at the supermarket checkout…..

        1. @Paddyswurds

          I agree it seems at first glance to be far fetched, but I have met a woman who has Foreign Accent Syndrome after a brain bleed. That also seemed bizarre and difficult to explain (undoubtedly more difficult for the patient herself to contend with!). So, I keep an open mind. If, I was a betting man (which generally I am not) then I would say cases of orientation being altered due to cerebral events or trauma are extremely rare, although I would not quite go as far as saying impossible or implausible.

          1. Paddyswurds 22 Apr 2012, 5:13pm

            @Stu…
            …The story about the woman who recovered from a stro and had FAS afterwards is my my opinion, relevant, because it was soon after that incident we heard of this story…very odd don’t you think especially given the rarity of such events.Vis the mother thing I still think that is relevent as she was probably unwilling or unable to go along convincingly with the charade. It was also convenient that the credits were able to say there was now contact. Nah, again I am convinced of a charade. BTW, what was with thr testing setup which was carried out on a stairway landing in full view of the outside world.The dude could see the b/f and the b/f could see him. The whole thing was a hoax and the truth will out eventually……

      2. danielmclion 19 Apr 2012, 12:01am

        Right, in the show you see also before pics. Like I wrote in my first relation after seeing the show: he looks much much nicer/pritti than before. :)

  34. nobodysperfect 17 Apr 2012, 9:28pm

    just because your gay, lesbian, bisexual it doesn’t mean you should be treated different from others, it is possible, it doesn’t mean they’ve changed yes they have a new lifestyle but there just as a like as we are!

    1. nobodysperfect 17 Apr 2012, 9:31pm

      and im just 13 years old,

      1. Definitely should not be treated just because you’re gay etc.

        ;-)

    2. Very very true! When I came out to my family it was one of the things I said. I’m still me, it’s my sexuality that’s different, nothing more.

      And hi by the way. I do hope things haven’t been to hard for you :)

      1. nobodysperfect 18 Apr 2012, 3:41pm

        :) im just 13 years old and im not gay im strait but i think people shouldn’t be treated differently people should love u for who you are :)

  35. I too once had a stroke & realised I was gay. His name was Stephen & he stroked me back :) ha!

  36. I personally agree with his partner that it was always there and I thought that when it was originally reported. I think that what happened just brought it to the for front.

    I am pleased he is happier than he has ever been and I really do wish him luck. But it does concern me that there are those who’ll look at this and go “SEE! It is a choice!”

    1. Why would they say that though? If his story is true it would suggest some sort of physiological cause beyond his control.

    2. I agree with Ray123

      If his orientation changed related to a stroke, he neither set out to change his orientation nor did he choose to have a stroke … its not a choice. He’s happy which is great.

  37. That the media would waste there time airing such bull s-it is sad.

    1. danielmclion 18 Apr 2012, 4:28am

      I don’t agree. But it’s very sad that prejudice isn’t a straights only habit!

  38. Woke up a stereotype more like!!

    I’ve just watched the documentary they even had camp classics playing in the background.

    1. danielmclion 18 Apr 2012, 10:59pm

      They “even” had camp music…<<. So? Do you think it would be more convincing with rock&roll or Beethoven in the background ??? What's th point of this remark? :/

  39. danielmclion 18 Apr 2012, 4:25am

    So I’ve watched it. Don’t know if it isnt indeed a made up story. But very well possible true. But he looks much much better now than on those “before” pics. Interesting part is the pile of hate mail from gays who don’t know him and react on the story, even before the doc has aired. I think it’s the same here too. Prejudice is not a straights only habit! ;)

    1. Noticed all the online comments with negative remarks on the show all clearly came from the site of one of our very favourite papers, the wonderful DM.

      1. danielmclion 18 Apr 2012, 10:34pm

        DM ? I have to guess, Daily Mail? Did DM (whatever it is) covered this story? But if so, what is the link that DM readers would reply here?

  40. Attention seeker, surely.

    1. danielmclion 19 Apr 2012, 12:09am

      Perhaps even totally fake, an actor. So…. Even if so, does it make “the question” less interesting? And anyhow, isn’t it good to have an (even faked) example that so called 100% butch straight men can actually be (or become) queenly gay?

  41. Paul Brownsey 18 Apr 2012, 11:01am

    It will be interesting to see whether the documentary fields lots of ex-girl-friends testifying to his having been a marvellous lover. None is quoted here.

  42. 2 champers sips to being a diva 18 Apr 2012, 11:17am

    who stroked him? and all i can say is that this stroke made him ‘honest’.

  43. After watching the programme, the guy seems quite genuine. It also seems very possible that if personalities can change with a stroke then sexuality could. Isn’t sexuality just a part of our personality?

    I also understand that it partially goes against the idea that it is pre-determined but that doesn’t mean it was chosen. Look at all the other people that have changes due to strokes like the painter in the programme, they would certainly not of chose to change but they still do.

    1. danielmclion 19 Apr 2012, 1:08am

      Even the painer might be an actor! I don’t believe something because it was printed or on tv!!! But the story can be very true, even when impersonated! :)

      1. True. I am a bit gullable at times. But I still don’t get why people would ever imagine feelings would be chosen, it makes no sense to mean.

  44. Paddyswurds 18 Apr 2012, 2:43pm

    These two queens are laughing all the way to the bank. This is an utter hoax. Didn’t anyone find it very convenient that his mum was “out of the picture” and that there were a very strange absence of friends or acquaintances. Where was the rugby team and strangely no-one who was there when he “gave himself the stroke” by constricting his own airway. Yea, right, try the other one …it has bells on.,

    1. What about the guy from Liverpool? He lost his entirely family due to the changes in him after his stroke? I imagine for his mum the whole incident has been very emotional. Whether he was gay before the stroke or the stroke indeed did turn him gay she has essentially lost the son she knew prior the the stroke. There’s bound to be a grieving period.

      There is so much we don’t know about the human mind I think it’s impossible to say one way or another whether this was genuine or a hoax, or a guy in denail or whatever ele

    2. danielmclion 18 Apr 2012, 10:55pm

      During the credits, after the “show”, it was stated that there has been contact with his mum, and that he hoped to see her soon again. Even if THIS story is a totaly made up story, also without a stroke, it happens often that gays are rejected by friends even parents when they come out! Not in the Netherlands where I live, nor in Belgium where I was born. But in the rest o.t. World…. Again, even when the stroke would be a fantasy, it’s an eye opener for gay-bashing people! So I support this show! :)

  45. Don Harrisoin 18 Apr 2012, 3:52pm

    I have a stoke nearly every day.

  46. The most interesting thing I find about it wasn’t Chris himself but the reaction of so many other people. Why is this so impossible? Does everyone fully understand how our brain works, simple answer NO! We don’t know everything about it and we still have to learn a lot. We also don’t know how much was lost through the memory loss he suffered. It is unfair to simply dismiss the story , just because it seems weird. Maybe from the perspective he has now due to everything that happend he did actualy “turned” gay or he was before, and what about the man they spoke about who used to be gay and is now straight? – The LGBT Community needs to keep an open mind there, otherwise we are just as bad as those who try to limit us

    1. danielmclion 18 Apr 2012, 10:39pm

      Hear! Hear! Like I wrote before, prejudism isn’t a straight people’s default.

    2. It’s not that we don’t have an open mind, but this is seriously just BS. You’re right, we don’t know everything about the brain, but you can’t just “wake up gay”, stroke or no stroke. Plenty of people pretend to be straight so they aren’t judged or harassed, but whether you’re gay or straight or anything in between, you can’t just change like that, especially not overnight.

      1. danielmclion 19 Apr 2012, 12:48am

        Again, how dare you say: >>you can’t…<< ? What kind of Dr. Are you??? I can testify, and my man too, that I have changed "overnight" after a T.I.A. and again after my second. Sure, I was gay, still gay! (well, 80% or so) But my preference DID totally change "overnight" 4 years ago!!! looking up for very tall blond, blue or grey eyed guy – from my age+ only – before, now I'm only charmed with Romani, 1,50 m black eyed 30 y.o. guys or African boys! All those tall blond… men are "No way!!!" now. I.O.W: My preference did change over night.

      2. Overnight? did he recover up overnight? I have not covered strokes in a great deal in my studies but I’m pretty sure they don’t just recover “overnight”. It may have taken him weeks after his release fro hospital not mention his time in there.

        Seriously? This is the story you have a problem with? As I said in another post, there are a tonne load of strange cases out there. Strokes are known to cause dramatic personality changes and to be fair thats what this seems like, just a personality change.

  47. Sounds like a load of BS to me…just another excuse for homophobes to say being gay is all in your head, and since a stroke made him “wake up gay”, then certainly it can be reversed right?? -__- umm, no, he was gay all along but too chicken to come out. a stroke is no “reason” to just all of a sudden be gay. wtf is wrong with people?? what is our society coming to….and who the hell approved this for television???

    1. danielmclion 19 Apr 2012, 12:20am

      Did you see the doc/show??? My late brother (officially sister!) killed himself after 5 years of “sounds like a load of B.S. to me” . He actually died due to a stroke in 1988! :/

  48. danielmclion 19 Apr 2012, 1:02am

    My last comment in this tread: Sorry! It might be an totally acted show! But all those comments like “you CANNOT.. overnight!” etc. Do we have a Neuroligists forum here? Who are those people (anonymously/funny name) who KNOW it isn’t possible to wake up gay…? Who the f##k are you? What’s you medical doctors degree? None! Niente! Nada! Like I said in my first MSG here: prejudice isn’t just a straight people’s habit! Square or totally queer, prejudice is ruling all forums and comments! :(

  49. I give it a week or two before people come forward saying they slept with him before the stroke.

    1. Some here make me laugh. Know better than the scientists who are experts in this field and support this young man’s story, do you?
      For what it is worth, scientists have no agenda here- no anti-gay or pro-gay bias.
      Perhaps sexuality is just a matter of brain wiring after all. And there is nothing especially ‘special’ or ‘spiritual’ about being gay (or not) after all.
      By the way, rugby players come in all shapes and sizes (snert) and are not all built like the proverbial.

  50. At the end of the day here is a guy who is now living a happy life. Okay so he’s making some money out of a documentary… wouldn’t we all do that? Just chill out a little. As far as the anti-gay lobby goes, their arguments would be just as invalid as before if they somehow tried to use this to their advantage. Put simply, his brain was one way before, and now it is another way. Therefore, there is a biological reason for sexuality. Simple really. I also think the people who are on here saying ‘sexuality is because of your genetics get it right’ and things like that are as closed minded as the religious. We do not understand the intricacies of sexuality, we do not understand exactly why. Yes there have been trends found in genetics, but also in psychology and neuroscience and none of them has yet given us the whole story.

  51. I’m delighted that Chris is happy and content nowadays but I can’t help doubting that he might have already been gay before the stroke… He was a grown man who suddenly decided to do a roly-poly down a grassy slope! I rest my case! ;-D

  52. I totally didn’t get that program. If he was unhappy about “waking up” gay then there might be some reason to why he would make a big deal of it, there are gay people in the world who would prefer not to be.. But he was happy about it and in love with another guy, so what was all the fuss about? Marketing his salon perhaps? I don’t get it.

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