Chris Birch with Isabelle Loynes

A Somersault Into a New Life: The Chris Birch Story

Autumn 2015, publication date: spring 2016

The true story of British rugby playing tough guy who after suffering a stroke, woke up gay.
What makes you who you are? Most people take their identity, looks and sexuality for granted but what if one day everything you knew about yourself changed...
Chris Birch had the whole of his life mapped out in front of him.
After growing up in a traditional town in South- Wales he had a job in a bank, a beautiful girlfriend he was set to marry and a busy social life that revolved around his local rugby club.
But in 2005, a harmless dare to somersault down a hill would erase the life he knew.
By the time Chris reached the bottom he suffered a stroke that changed life as he knew it, forever.
Following the accident Chris noticed changes in his personality and as he started to recover it became clear that the ‘old Chris,’ his family and friends loved, was never coming back.
Within two years he transformed from a nineteen stone, rugby-loving banker, to an eleven stone hairdresser with an incredible secret:
Chris wasn’t attracted to women anymore, the stroke had made him gay.
“My Somersault Into A New Life,” is a first-person exploration of Chris’ real life journey to accept the stranger that he became and say goodbye to the man he once was.
It charts the loneliness of his new life, his friend’s and family’s struggle to accept his new identity and his fight to convince the world, medical bodies and even his new fiancé, that his incredible story is completely true.