You’ve heard the cult anthem “Turning Japanese” by The Vapors. Now, Welsh rugby player Chris Birch is singing a whole new version of the song: turning gay.
During a freak training accident on the field, 26-year-old Birch suffered a stroke. At the time, his family feared that his life would be “irrevocably changed.”
He “changed,” all right: he lost a lot of weight, cut his hair, broke up with his then-fiancee, and became attracted to men.
“I was gay when I woke up and I still am. It sounds strange but when I came round I immediately felt different,” Birch told the U.K’s Daily Mail newspaper. “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. But I didn’t care about who I was before, I had to be true to my feelings.” Birch has sinced trained for a career as a hairdresser and become engaged to his boyfriend, according to the British paper, a gleefully salacious tabloid (so take this story with a grain of salt).
While this is the first time something like this has been reported in the tab, it’s not unusual for people to completely change personalities after a stroke, and—in some extreme cases—acquire new and previously undiscovered skills (such as painting).
According to The Edge, changes in sexual orientation have been observed in other cases of stroke. Research also indicates the brain structure plays a key role in sexual orientation, and genetics seems to play a part as well.