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'Stroke made me gay' says Welsh hairdresser

UK television show tells bizarre story of a straight lager lout from Wales who says he became a gay hairdresser after surviving a freak accident
Chris Birch tells his incredible story in BBC Three program I Woke Up Gay.
Photo by BBC Wales/Nick Andrews.

A Welsh rugby fan who claims he turned gay after a stroke is the subject of a documentary on British television tonight (17 April).

I Woke Up Gay, on BBC Three at 9pm, tells the story of 27-year-old Chris Birch from Wales, who, says that after a freak accident in 2011, he underwent an incredible transformation from 19-stone lager lout to slim, well-groomed gay hairdresser.

'I was doing a forward roll down a grass bank one day and cut off the blood supply to my brain which caused a stroke to happen. It was from there, while I was recovering, that I realized I'd changed,' he told the BBC.

'The Chris I knew had gone and a new Chris sort of came along. I came to the realization that the stroke had turned me gay.'

During the program, the filmmakers introduce us to Birch, who tries to reconnect with his old self through photos and friends.

While the documentary says there are few known cases of a stroke turning a straight person gay, and major personality changes in stroke sufferers are rare, consultant neuro-psychiatrist Dr Sudad Jawad believes it is possible.

Jawad said: 'Just like a stroke can change you as a person, your behavior, your personality, the way you think, why not sexual orientation, it is part of the personality of the individual?'

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