Being gay and playing rugby is nothing new to see, especially if you are on a women's team. When on a mens’ team though, unless it's a predominately gay club it's not as common on a team. While looking up rugby articles for my rugby blotter, I came across an article about a rugby player, who says he woke up from a stroke gay.
Chris Birch was 19, with a fiancée, and was a banker, when after his stroke he was flipped. He is now 26 and a hair dresser , has lost over 100 lbs, and continues to claim that his life changed in a rugby training session. Being on fire, he did a back flip and broke his neck, and when he awoke was different in almost every way and found he hated sport and was no longer interested in women.
Could this really happen? Strokes have been known to have many altering life effects but I have never heard of sexuality being one of those changes. Perhaps at 19 he didn’t really know who he was and was trying to fit into societal norms and the event just lead to an internal awakening. After the event he stated that “My old friends would come round and visit me but the conversation would dry up straightaway. I wasn’t interested in the rugby scores, going down the pub to watch football or anything else I used to do."
Now as a paki, one can make jokes that maybe he sniffed too much crotch, or just got use to having balls inserted to his scrum, Maybe it was the shorts and socks combo, or the overwhelming testosterone that surrounded him during practices that helped him realize that he is in fact homosexual.
I have always found he rugby community to be a very open not matter what your sexual preference, personal tastes or anything else you’re into. He never said that his rugby mates thought differently or made him uncomfortable with his new lifestyle, but it again just has me wondering many different things about how children are put into a mold and have trouble fitting into it.
We push our boys into sports and being tough, girls into wearing dressing, make-up and long hair. I know many girls that were “straight” when they started playing rugby only to later to come out, perhaps because they found a group of people who didn’t care who the like or what they like but accepted them as they were. I also know girls who came in gay and now have children and are in relationships with men.
I fully believe gay/straight is a way you are born, not a choice (though there are they experimental years for many of us), can a major trauma change you sexuality still has me wondering.