Continuing the story of the butch straight thirteen stone Welsh rugger fan turned gay, a change in sexual orientation in a stroke sufferer is a controversial issue that can divide scientific opinion. Dr Qazi Rahman of the University of London, an expert in human sexual orientation, has researched the neurological differences between gay and straight men and women. He has tested hundreds of lesbian, gay and straight volunteers and discovered certain key patterns which reveal if a person might have been born gay or straight. He says the brains of gay men could be organised differently to those of straight men. He invited Birch, who has swapped banking for hairdressing, to undergo the computer-based tests to see if he may, indeed, have been born gay. On half the tests, Birch performed in the expected direction for a gay man, and for the other half was within the range of a straight man. “The bulk of the evidence in the biological sciences of genetics and psychology and neuroscience suggest that sexuality is something you are born with and it develops later on through life,” says Rahman. “Sometimes it takes something like a neurological insult - which is what a stroke is - to make you reassess those feelings, perhaps that are lying dormant, and bring them into the front of your mind and it is possible that is what has happened with Birch.”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. “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,” he says.
There are other examples of radical personality change. Tommy McHugh suffered a stroke in 2001 which unlocked his creative side. He used to be a builder and is now an artist, sculptor and writes poetry. However before the stroke, McHugh had no interest in art apart from the tattoos on his arms.
One of the first recorded instances of a personality change after a head injury dates back to 1848, with the case of Phineas Cage. While working as a railroad construction foreman, his head was pierced by an iron bar propelled by an explosion. He survived the accident but suffered behavioral changes and was reported to have permanently lost his inhibitions. Although science may never be able to reveal what happened after Birch's accident and the lasting effect of the stroke, he is continuing to rediscover himself and move on with his new life.
Personally I have long maintained, not from scientific or psychiatric experiment but from personal experience and observation, that the word normal in sexual behaviour means bisexual: not necessarily 50/50, sometimes as much as 90% one way 10% the other but always an element of both homo and hetero sexuality.
“I'm convinced more than ever looking at old photos that the stroke did turn me gay, because there is no way that I was gay before. I have photos as proof and I have friends as proof and now I have memories as proof. I'm happier now than I ever have been, why would I want to change?”
Joke by my cousin Bert – I’m trisexual – try anything once. Many a true word as the old saying has it.
And definitely the last word – St. Petersburg and three other Russia cities with the urging of the Orthodox Church have banned “homosexual propaganda” and seventeen people have been arrested for trying to display a rainbow flag. They have been accused of “not co-operating.” It is possible the law might come into effect nationally. Religion really is a disaster for the human race and, as the opium of the people, it will continue to be so.