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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



All comments.

  1. Sad

    Any updates on Robby?

  2. Em

    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

  3. Regman

    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.

    1. Dizzy

      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.

  4. Manda

    Please don’t let that last comment be true. I think about Robbie every day.

  5. Andy

    Oh no! Robbys story really touched me. She reminded me of a few people I know. My condolences to her family and friends. RIP.

  6. Ame

    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.

  7. boots

    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.

  8. EB

    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…

    1. Laura

      yes, that is so disheartening. 🙁

    2. Rachel

      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.

      1. Brooke

        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?

      2. Viewer

        Well said Brooke!

      3. Rebecca

        THANK YOU Brooke.

  9. Hector

    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.

  10. Stephanie

    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.

  11. Diana

    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.

  12. April

    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.

  13. Luna

    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❤️

    1. Chris

      A woman who devoted 29 years of her life to a man that she married and birthed two sons for and two sons that needed a Dad. Yeah, they were the problem…. Judging them for having a hard time addressing the man she married and father they were born to as a “she”…

      1. K

        They had 10 years to adjust.

      2. Dahlia

        And welcome back to “Excusing Transphobia At The Cost Of Someone’s Life”! Grow up, dude. It is 2021

      3. Gigi

        I have compassion for both Robyn AND those who had a hard time dealing with the transition. Believing intellectually in everybody’s right to express their sexuality or gender identity does not mean it’s easy on a personal level.

      4. Ez

        yes, I am shocked by the level of cognitive dissonance in some of these comments. your parents, your environment, culture etc majorly impact your sense of self your sense of identity. if you went 30 years being a wife, loving a man, identifying as a heterosexual couple and then one your husband announces that he is now a woman and wants to be addressed as your wife… that’s deeply traumatic in and of itself. They are entitled to their feelings, they are entitled to their internal conflict. The whole 10 years is enough time nonsense is hypocritical. Robby had his entire life to finally figure out who he was and embrace it. For 29 of those years his identity defined how his family related to him. I am sorry but it’s a fairy tale to think people who have inner turmoil about transgender issues can just shrug it off and be 10000% ok with a situation like this. Both Robby and his family were deeply affected by his transition, have some compassion for all parties involved. They lost Robby three times, once to alcohol, once to gender dysphoria and finally to an early death.

  14. Rebecca

    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.

    1. meg

      totally agreed! i can’t watch the episode ever again, it was horrible.

  15. Raf Soto

    There was one specific part in this episode that made me tear up. It was the part were robby was making hamburgs on the grill for her family and her niece said “I love you” & you can see that robby was deep in thoughts…then she asked if she was okay & robby replied “huh? I’m sorry I’m just exhausted” man did the tears come down because at that very moment I seen a tired, broken soul fighting hard!! RIP robby im sure you are greatly missed & resting in eternal peace now. You have certainly touched my heart even though we will never meet.

  16. meg

    it really, really bugs me that the official synopsis misgenders her. dizzy, i know it wasn’t you. seriously, what the eff?

    1. Dizzy

      If you read it closely though they only use ‘he’ once when referring to 5 years ago at the time of coming out. I’m guessing the synopsis writer thinks that it’s standard to use old pronouns when talking about pre-transition. Maybe I’m being overly generous but it makes sense, since the pronouns change after that first sentence. I think a lot of people don’t know the editorial best practices on that stuff.

      1. A.S.

        Most likely, yes I agree that this was probably more of an editorial mistake than actual transphobia, although it was still unfortunate for Robyn. I’ve actually seen them use the wrong names for other people too, such as Katherine who in the episode said she prefers to be called Katie.

  17. Brimo

    Just watched this episode for the first time. My heart broke for everyone involved. I understand that the family has to “grieve” the loss of Robby the male husband, but after five years, they all needed counseling to better understand ROBYN, the woman. The fact that they still referred to her as “he/him” was upsetting as well. What a shame that she got the confidence to come out to her wife as transgender, only to waste the next years as an alcoholic whose family cannot come to terms with who she really was. She never got to be FREE while earthside, and that breaks my heart. I don’t for one second doubt the love her family had for her, but you cannot deny the fact that they didn’t truly accept her for who she really was.

  18. Tara A.

    I can’t help but wonder if the cancer came from the hormones she was getting online? Its just speculation, but if any of you are out there in the midst of transitioning PLEASE see a medical professional for the best aid to a healthy transition!!
    I really hope this family is okay. This was a guy wrenching episode and I am so sorry for their loss. I can’t imagine how hard it was for them and Robby…nothing but live and support is sent out to them all.

  19. Alicia

    robby saw themselves as he and she. she liked to be addressed as a female and he liked to be addressed as male. don’t pretend you know them.

    1. Sarcastic_Goth

      And you do?

  20. J

    this was an interesting episode… lots of questions about the family and their dynamic. from what i’ve heard about family members of transsexuals, it can be a really tough pill to swallow, ESPECIALLY when it’s a parent, so i’m not going to bash the family.
    i also get the vibe there was something deeper than the gender. i got major “repressed homosexuality” vibes from Robby. total conjecture, but i think it complicated things. either way, very sad story. May she rest in peace.

  21. Alex

    This episode made me sick as a survivor of domestic violence. The extended family AND the show majorly gloss the fact that Robby is choking their teenage son and beating their wife. If this individual were just a man who drank 4 bottles of vodka a day with no dysphoria, no hormones, every person watching would see the exact same thing–an abusive drunk.