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Season 5 Episode 15


Age: 34
Location: Delaware
Addiction: Alcohol (vodka)
What’s Memorable: Chris and Shawn’s story absolutely breaks my heart. Chris was in so much pain over being treated as less-than because his partner is a man. What he wanted more than anything was for his relationship of 15 years to be recognized as a legitimate one and his family just couldn’t do it. This may the saddest and most tragic episode of Intervention that has ever aired.

Note: Chris committed suicide while under the influence of alcohol. Read about it here.

Official synopsis:Β Born into a family with traditional Catholic values, Chris struggled with his sexuality until coming out at 18. Now, at 34, Chris feels that being gay has cheated him out of the things he wants most–marriage, children, and inclusion in his family. He drinks first thing in the morning to ward off tremors, he’s abusive to his partner, and he can’t keep a job. His father believes Chris should be able to stop drinking by sheer force of will, but his mother believes that genetics is to blame for his alcoholism. Can the family overcome its divisions and work together for Chris?

Original Air Date:Β February 2009

Interventionist: Ken

All comments.

  1. LisaDiane

    This is one of those stories that has caused my opinions on gay rights and gay marriage to change… is so easy to have an immediate, gut-reaction of “NO!” when it comes to gay issues, mainly because I’m UNCOMFORTABLE with homosexuality. But when I look, REALLY LOOK, at what “gay issues” truly are — they are about people….about normal, real people who just want to be treated respectfully because they are really just like ME! They fall in love with people who they are attracted to and feel a connection with, just like I have.

    WHY should their rights/choices about how to proceed with the person THEY care about/love be any different than what MY rights and choices are? Because their loved one is the same gender as they are?? Which really means, “because I am uncomfortable with who you feel connected to and love for”……how is this right??? Who made MY “discomfort” with something the basis for whether it’s acceptable or not??? Am I really THAT self-important???

    The answers I always come back to are: NO, my opinions should NOT be the basis for what’s acceptable, what’s allowed, what’s RIGHT. My discomfort with something should NOT determine laws and rights for other people.
    Denying equal “couple-rights” to a loving, adult couple based on our collective discomfort with homosexuality IS WRONG… matter what the Bible, Koran, or Torah have written — those texts can be translated and read to mean all kinds of different things (as a Christian, I know this).

    I am SO deeply sad and sorry that Chris died. And I’m VERY sad for Shawn, for what he went through with his loved one, and then how he was treated at the hospital, and now how he must cope with this terrible loss. As someone who was in a similar relationship with my first husband, your situation just gripped my heart. I pray that you find peace and happiness again. (((((hugs)))))

    I hope that this story will open the eyes of other heterosexuals like me, to see that gay people are PEOPLE too. And they deserve to be treated the SAME way. They are PEOPLE just like YOU and ME…..

    1. Dizzy

      Thanks for commenting. I hope that Chris and Shawn’s story reached many more people this way.

    2. Shayne

      It is wonderful that even this is a tragic, tragic story it helped at least one person realize that love is love. Whether you choose to love someone on the same or opposite sex you should have the same rights PERIOD. I think you came to one of the most profound understandings I’ve ever heard anyone say “your discomfort” is what all of these laws and inequality come from. I am very proud of you and l think you put it so eloquently, it touches my heart. My mother is gay and it hurts that when her girlfriend of many,many years passed she was completely excluded from the process. It is so unfair and its nice to see someone come to an understanding the way you have. Gay couples are not trying to hurt anyone, they just want to be seen as equals. I,hope l,see that happen in my lifetime, unfortunately Chris never will, but maybe someday soon his partner Shawn will,get that opportunity. This was a very sad episode indeed, but if it managed to change one person’s point of view than it is a wonderful episode also. My thoughts and prayers go out to Shawn, stay strong. RIP Chris.

  2. Stefan

    Not gonna lie, when Delaware legalized same-sex marriage three years ago, I thought about Chris, and how happy it would’ve made him. I truly hope that Shawn will one day find love again. Anyone going through what Chris did would be so fortunate to have someone like him. If there’s any consolation, Chris is finally at peace. RIP.

    1. Mike

      Shawn did wind up marrying someone and moved from Delaware I believe he is back in Delaware and looking for love again. I think his true love is gone and nobody can meet up to as much as he loved Chris.

  3. Toreigh

    I havent see Chris’s episode yet but I did read the article provided. Very upsetting to see that he was not allowed to be I’m the room with Chris when he passed. People are people. Gay or straight, and of any skin color, we all bleed red when we are cut. We should all have equal rights to love, happiness, and life! Ibhave always felt this way and always will. I hope Shawn is doing well. And bless your soul Chris.

  4. Anyone

    i enjoy your website, I just wanted to ask that Rather than “committed” you should use the phrase died by. Committed implies there is something illegal about suicide. No one gets charges for being that depressed. Its a mental health issue and phrasing helps a lot when combating stigma.

    1. Dizzy

      Thanks for the feedback. I dont understand how the legality implications of the verb used to frame the word suicide have anything to do with the stigma around depression. Please further explain that position if you can. I’m not prepared to make any changes until I fully understand how the word “committed” causes harm. Thanks.

      1. Anonymous

        In this context commit is a carryover from when suicide was an illegal act. In the same way that crimes are described as having been committed e.g. burglary, murder etc. It has a negative and ‘ punishment-worthy’ connotation. Societal views are evolving in how to engage with such tragic situations and changing this one word does do a lot to help with that. Like all things language-based it’s an individual choice to make but it can’t be a fully informed choice without understanding the background. A couple of resources might be helpful in explaining better than I can:

    2. Melissa

      I agree with Dizzy. The word “commit” doesnt imply anything. The word commit simply means to carry out an action. You “commit” to a relationship, you “commit” to a contract, you “commit” to being a good parent, and when you carry out the act of suicide you are “committing” suicide.

    3. Dahlia

      This comment literally makes zero sense. Lol

  5. Vicky

    Can anybody find his episode? My friend and I can’t find it. Not on amazon or iTunes.

    1. Stefan

      You may have to find a torrent link as most episodes where the addict has died are unavailable online.

    2. Elizabeth

      Vicky, if you’re still looking for this episode, it’s available on Amazon Prime Video for $1.99.

  6. Zach

    This one of the episodes of Intervention that made me the angriest because while Chris did have some issues,they were made worse by the fact a lot of people in society still feel they have a right to treat LGBT people like garbage.
    If that was different,it’s likely he and so many other LGBT people that have ended up taking their own lives would still be here.

    1. Ky

      Well said! πŸ’―
      We need to do better.

  7. Ky

    I just watched this episode and I am heartbroken. Chris was so sweet. Societal pressures put him through hell. It is never okay to be pushed to a point where you feel hopeless and you turn to alcohol to cope. We need to do better. I hope Shawn is okay, he and Chris seemed like an amazing pair and super adorable. My love to him.

    1. Stefan

      Can I ask where you watched it as it seems to be completely unavailable now?

  8. Emmett Xavier Theodoran

    This one definitely hits home as I have an uncle that ended his life under the influence of alcohol after years of struggling with his sexuality or more like the way he was treated as less than because of it.
    I really wanted Chris to make it. I agree. This is probably the saddest episode I’ve seen yet.