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Robby (Intervention Canada)

Season 16, Episode 9

Robby (Robyn)
Age: 45
Location:  Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Addiction:  Alcohol (vodka)

What’s Memorable:  That was excruciating on several levels. Obviously the level of drunkenness Robby gets to is outrageous and troubling, but I was most disturbed by the fact that her family for the most part is ignoring the major trigger at hand – Robby is struggling in her transition and desperately needs their validation. She needs to know that they will allow her to be a woman, to see her as a woman, and she’s just not getting it from them. I understand that Janet and others think the alcoholism needs to be addressed before the transgenderism, and of course there’s truth to the urgency of the drinking problem, but I also don’t think they should ignore that fact that whenever she’s wasted she goes on and on about her gender and “what” she is, asking them how they see her. I also get how hard it must be for a family to suddenly change pronouns and think of their husband/father as a wife/mother. That’s obviously not an easy thing to do. But it’s been 5 years! Seems like that should have been enough time for them to get used to the idea and start using “she” instead of “he” all the time. The whole genderfluid thing seemed like she was coming up with something to make it easier on her family to accept, not that she was actually confused. She didn’t seem confused about her gender at all, she seemed unsupported and therefore tentative. I don’t know, I just feel like maybe they could have made more of an effort to acknowledge Robby’s gender instead of treating it like an annoyance and avoiding talking to her about it, especially given how much pain that exact thing was clearly causing her. Although who knows, we only saw short pieces of their life together, maybe they’re making more of an effort than it looked like in the episode. And also maybe she’d still be drinking that much even if everyone around her considered her a woman already. Addiction is complicated like that. I was deeply saddened at the end when she left treatment and didn’t communicate with the producers. I really wanted some semblance of closure on this one and that was about as ambiguous as it gets. I hope she’s ok.

Update: Robyn Stoneburg (Robert Ryan Stoneburg) died November 7th, 2017. The cause of death was reported by a friend as cancer. Death Notice

Official Synopsis: Five years ago Robby came out to his wife of twenty-nine years and two sons as transgender, exploding their world and Robby’s own in the process. Already a heavy drinker, Robby’s drinking intensified after coming out. Now, terrified of losing her wife, and being alone for the first time in her life, Robby has become a blackout drunk, downing up to forty ounces of vodka a day. Once a fun-loving partier, Robby has become increasingly violent when drunk. The family fears for Robby’s safety as well as their own. Without an intervention, Robby is in danger of losing her family forever. (Canadian produced.)

Date Aired:  December 2016



Categories: Addicts Who Have Died, Alcohol, Gender Identity Issues, Intervention Canada Episodes, Most Unforgettable Episodes, Season 16


21 Responses to “Robby (Intervention Canada)”

  1. Any updates on Robby?

    Posted by Sad | September 11, 2017, 2:26 pm
  2. My heart went out to that family–very loving and supportive. I know Robbie has an in your face problem; but I feel so much love and support for her wife Janet. And her sons…Robbie seems emotionally stuck at that very young age when we all start figuring out identity by the stupid pieces of flesh between our legs! Janet and Robbie’s sons seem so alone…where is Janet’s emotional support…who does she or son get their help?? I feel they have been sorta forgotten in this episode

    Posted by Em | September 14, 2017, 12:04 pm
  3. Hello. I have know Robyn since he was 15. I was there in the early stages of his transition and had to leave Edmonton due family issues. It is with deep regret that I must say Robyn passed away earlier this month after a bout with cancer. It got the better of him on November 7th. He was by far the best person I have ever known and I will miss him dearly.

    Posted by Regman | November 19, 2017, 7:48 pm
    • Noooo! I am so sad and sorry to hear this. Do you happen to have a link to the obituary, or maybe a Facebook page? Anything I can see to confirm? Thank you for posting.

      Posted by Dizzy | November 22, 2017, 9:33 am
  4. Please don’t let that last comment be true. I think about Robbie every day.

    Posted by Manda | December 8, 2017, 3:33 pm
  5. Oh no! Robbys story really touched me. She reminded me of a few people I know. My condolences to her family and friends. RIP.

    Posted by Andy | December 14, 2017, 12:02 pm
  6. Robyn, you touched my heart to my core and I knew you weren’t much longer for this world. Please watch over us suffering from similar struggles, whether it be with their identity, with addiction or anything, watch over us.

    Posted by Ame | January 15, 2018, 8:44 am
  7. Wow. My sympathies to his family. Does anyone suspect that it may have been the huge amount of hormones that caused the cancer? Because she even stated in the episode that she started ordering them online, and when you order drugs online, they can be sketchy, at least that’s what I’ve heard.

    Posted by boots | January 19, 2018, 11:45 am
  8. I find it interesting that the friend up a few comments was still calling her a him and the family used her past male name and pronouns in the obit…sad…

    Posted by EB | February 5, 2018, 12:46 pm
    • yes, that is so disheartening. 🙁

      Posted by Laura | February 6, 2018, 1:08 am
    • Do you not think about or feel for the family in this situation at all? Did you not see in this episode where the wife called her HUSBAND, “him” and then quickly cried in pain while saying “I mean, she? I’m sorry, it’s so hard, he’s my husband!” Did you not see the torture in her soul? Good gosh, I know the torment Robby was going through was awful and excruciating… but have some sympathy for his wife & kids about the fact THEY were going through it WITH HIM. I can’t imagine the torture of marrying someone, having children with them, and then waking up one day to them being an out of control addict who claims ‘the man you married is gone, and I am actually a woman.’ The intense pain & confusion these two BOYS must have felt when their FATHER was no longer their FATHER… it must have felt like a death to them all, before he really died.

      THAT’S what’s SAD.

      May his soul be in the presence of God regardless of his earthly struggles, and may the family all find some peace in comfort in their immense loss. Praying for you all.

      Posted by Rachel | March 6, 2018, 6:54 pm
      • woooow. of course i cannot imagine what they went through. none of us can. NO ONE is saying that’s not devastating! don’t think for one single second YOU feel any more compassion for the family than WE do for what they went through. however YOU clearly DON’T feel the same amount of compassion that WE do for the fact that her family used her old name and the pronoun ‘he’ in her obituary. that’s ALSO sad. period. they should have been true to who robyn was, a she, one last time. out of respect. for posterity. and for the record, i am not insinuating that they did what they did out of disrespect for her by any means but that is denying who she was inside. it’s just a SAD situation. the fact that we recognize that does NOT take away from the pain and suffering the family endured like you are clearly insinuating. how dare YOU? HMMMM?

        Posted by Brooke | July 7, 2019, 12:01 pm
  9. This was a very heart wrenching episode to watch. I’m very sad to read that Robby has passed away. My condolences to the family.

    You are free now Robby. Let your spirit soar high.

    Posted by Hector | February 16, 2018, 7:39 pm
  10. I watching this episode now. The intense intoxication is overwhelming and the misgendering is very upsetting. It is so sad to read that she passed away. I hope she is in a better place.

    Posted by Stephanie | March 4, 2018, 12:24 am
  11. Robby was a very tortured soul whose family obviously loved immensely. This was something they ALL needed help with & maybe if they had gotten that help much sooner,things might have turned out differently. My heart ACHES for all of Robby’s loved ones. I truly hope they can find some comfort in knowing that Robby is at peace now. May God wrap His loving arms around you ALL & fill you with His healing love & light.

    Posted by Diana | April 19, 2018, 9:23 pm
  12. I so rarely cry at intervention. But, this one broke my heart. Such a loving family that had such a broken soul to heal. Rest easy now. And to his family, may you find comfort.

    Posted by April | August 15, 2019, 7:04 am
  13. This episode will forever haunt me. The beginning when she’s talking and it’s really low and almost detached. I had a friend transitioning in high school and there were so many fights with people I got into because of their lack of respect for him, treated him like one big joke! His mom had a shrine of pictures of him framed right outside his room I felt so upset by her doing that. I understand what the parent could feel but you shouldn’t love your children any less or treat them with less respect because you don’t agree with them which goes back to Robyn. None of her family respected her humanity as a trans person even in DEATH. You could obviously see the whole episode her triggers were her family not accepting her for her true self. Rest In Peace Robyn❤️

    Posted by Luna | December 30, 2019, 7:06 am
  14. I just watched this episode, and their complete lack of respect for her pronouns and what she is going through with transition was disgusting and sad. I am glad that Intervention was good about those things, and it made me happy to see that the place she was sent was very LGBTQIA+ inclusive and supportive.

    Posted by Rebecca | August 19, 2020, 4:51 pm

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