A Kansas resident who underwent stem cell therapy for advanced male pattern baldness has since been diagnosed as gay. The man is now suing his doctors, alleging that they knew he did not want to be the recipient of gay stem cells.
Of the embryonic stem cells approved by President Bush, how many are gay?
TOPEKA, KS—When Marybeth Witty stumbled upon her husband Dale watching a pornographic video on the internet, she knew something was wrong. Instead of looking at images of nude high school cheerleaders and young shaved lesbians as he often had in the past, the 37-year old auto parts salesman was taking in hot guy-on-guy action. "As soon as I saw what he was looking at I knew something was different," said Marybeth, a part-time manicurist who enjoys scrapbooking. "This was not the same Dale."
Finally: a cure for baldness
What precisely happened to her husband of eight years? Scientists say that the answer most likely lies in a controversial form of stem cell therapy that Mr. Witty underwent last year in an effort to finally cure the male pattern baldness that had tormented him for more than a decade. The changes in his behavior, says Marybeth, began soon after he—and his new head of hair—returned home. [Click thumbnail to view scientific diagram.]
In a complex procedure that could soon become commonplace at hair clinics across the country, specialists took stem cells from the follicles of a donor, multiplied them in cultures, then implanted them into the scalp of Mr. Witty. Over the following months, the hair doctors coaxed Mr. Witty's new follicle stem cells to begin transmitting signals to his own shrunken, reluctant follicle cells. The result: a thick, healthy head of hair.
But while Mr. Witty got the lustrous locks of which he'd long dreamt, he may have also gotten something else from the lengthy and often painful procedure: gayness. After his wife found a personal ad that he had posted on gaychristians.com, seeking "pen pals and more," she convinced him to seek medical attention. The diagnosis: Mr. Witty is now gay.
Man says: "I won't take this lying down."
Within days of receiving the doctor's verdict, Mr. Witty had retained a lawyer and filed a lawsuit against specialists at Fetal Stem Cells, Inc., the center where he underwent the experimental hair treatment. According to court documents given to the Swift Report, Mr. Witty seeks to have the gay stem cells removed and replaced with straight cells at no cost, and is also demanding $99,000 for alleged pain and suffering.
While no one from FSC was willing to go on record about the pending lawsuit, a source close to the center say that this is not the first time that doctors there have been accused of implanting gay stem cells into straight recipients. "The problem is that you can't ask the stem cells if they are gay or straight," said the source. "You won't know until you've implanted them and they've had a chance to bloom." Experts estimate that as many as 10% of all stem cells could be gay.
Back on the straight and marrow
At home in Topeka, the Witty's say that they're anxious to resume the life they led before Mr. Witty was implanted with the gay stem cells. While they hope that a reversal of the procedure will cure him of his new taste for men, they say that they've got a back up plan prepared—just in case. Next month, Mr. Witty will travel to Orlando, Fla., to the headquarters of Exodus International, a world-renowned organization that helps individuals like Mr. Witty overcome their gayness.
Later this month, Mr. Witty will take his tale on the road, speaking to the 30th annual Exodus Freedom Conference in Asheville, NC, about the dangers of gay stem cells. "I didn't ask to be this way." said Witty, sporting a Caesar haircut. "I hope that the conference will allow me to hook up with other regular joes like me, who had this thrust upon them."
Hermione Slatkin can be reached at [email protected]