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I Woke Up Gay

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Written by Sam Lister / April 17th, 2012, 10:14am

Tonight's extraordinary documentary I Woke Up Gay follows Chris Birch, a young lad from Wales, who claims that a stroke turned him gay.

At 21, Chris Birch was a typical, burly, rugby playing lad with a girlfriend and a job in a bank, but after a stroke everything changed. Today Chris looks different, sounds different and has a completely different life - he is a gay, image conscious hairdresser interested in fashion and interior decor. 
It was a simple forward roll down a hill at a playing field that caused a freak accident which resulted in Chris suffering from an unexplained stroke. The stroke still continues to have an effect on his life as he finds changes occurring to his body and he must take medication to prevent another stroke from happening.
Chris has also suffered from severe memory loss; he cannot recall many of the details of his life before the stroke and lost touch with some former friends and family . During the documentary Chris attempts to get to grips with his new life and his new personality, whilst he tries to discover who he used to be and attempts to build bridges with some of the people he has lost touch with. What are the differences between 'old Chris' and 'new Chris' and could his stroke really have turned him gay? Chris' partner believes that his homosexuality was always a part of him but Chris is convinced that he has undergone a major personality transformation since his stroke and that has not only changed the person he used to be but his sexuality.
What is particularly sad is that it is not only Chris that is finding it hard to accept his 'new self'.  Chris' mum used to take him to doctors' appointments after he had his accident but now he goes alone as they have grown apart. Chris remarks that maybe it is his new face that she doesn't like to look at. 
Despite Chris' clear differences in personality and appearance, no one believes that a stroke turned him game. When Chris' story broke, his claims were ridiculed as people insisted that he was born gay. Chris' school friend claims however that back in school, Chris 'looked the least gay' out of the boys. Hmmm nice try but there's no 'gay look' and some people are married for years to an opposite sex partner before they come out as gay...Is Chris really unique to medical science or will scientific tests prove otherwise?
I Woke Up Gay will be aired tonight on BBC3 at 9pm. 
Database last updated: Today at 13:06