Trans son of anti-trans pundit speaks out against his mum

A person wears a jacket with a patch on the back of a trans flag that says "not afraid."

Content warning: This article features mentions of suicide, conversion therapy practices and abuse

An anti-trans activist’s transgender son has spoken out against his mother after she described his identity as “demonic”.

Twenty-three year-old Renton Sinclair said that his mother, Tania Joy Gibson, had been using his identity as a pawn in the rants that she often shares as part of right-wing, conservative Christian events. Gibson regularly features with Donald Trump’s former national security advisor, General Mike Flynn, on his conspiracy theory-fulled Great ReAwakening tour.

Sinclair said that, after coming out at a young age, Gibson spent his childhood attempting to reverse what she viewed as the “woke cult” attempting to take him away.

Sinclair told The Huffington Post that, after texting his mum to tell her that he was transgender, she reportedly put a “curse” on the testosterone he was taking.

During a recent episode of her Beauty for Ashes podcast, the former Miss Illinois contestant said: “I actually went after the medicine, and I cursed it in the name of Jesus, and I said, ‘No, you’re not going to work’.”

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Gibson routinely misgenders Sinclair and has used her son’s identity in several of her speaking events, including one where she told a crowd of 4,000 MAGA-hat-wearing Christians that she viewed trans people as the work of the devil, before breaking into a rendition of “America the Beautiful”.

In another speech, Gibson is reported to have said: “Where is that going to leave our nation or our world in 20 years? Who’s gonna have children? It’s horrifying and we must stop it.”

After discovering what it meant to be transgender from a YouTuber at the age of 12, Sinclair said his feelings of gender dysphoria immediately made sense.

“I just remember being like, ‘Oh, f**k, that’s what it is’,” he said. “I just immediately was like, ‘Oh s**t, this is the thing I can do. This all makes so much more sense now.’

“It was just like 1,000lbs of bricks off my chest.”

But, due to his mother’s right-wing, anti-trans views, he was forced to keep quiet about his identity, which caused his depression to worsen, until, in 2011, he tried to take his own life.

Sinclair said that following the attempt, his parents didn’t notice “anything [was] wrong,” and wrote in his journal that he should “be in a f**king hospital right now drinking charcoal, but no, I’m putting on eyeliner and getting ready for a Christmas party”.

Less than a year later, his parents reportedly confiscated his phone and computer and even ripped the doors of his room off their hinges. He was also forbidden to speak to his friends.

During that time, Gibson regularly subjected Sinclair to forms of so-called conversion therapy, which involved anti-trans Christian counsellors shaming him for identifying as trans, while reading Bible verses.

“I don’t think the goal was necessarily to make people straight or whatever as much as it was just to, like, repress you to the point where you either just die or stop arguing with it,” Sinclair said.

“I never planned to live past 16 or to be an adult … I spent a lot of my childhood just fully accepting that I’m not going to be an adult.”

Several years later, after Sinclair had turned 19, he’d had enough and began hormone replacement therapy.

He said that, after Gibson began using his choices as part of her speaking events to shame what she routinely describes as a “gender cult”, he realised: “OK, I can actually f**king stand up for myself, and I don’t have to sit and just take this bulls**t.

“If there [are] adults in your life or if there [are] people or friends [who] you love, that you’re worried about losing over this, and if you’re like… ‘if I come out this person might abandon me’, that’s their decision,” he said when asked to give advice to those facing anti-trans friends or family members.

“It doesn’t mean you’re f**king bad. It doesn’t mean you’re wrong. It doesn’t mean there’s something broken with you. That is someone else being f**ked up.”

Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact the Samaritans on 116 123 (, or Mind on 0300 123 3393 ( ​Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.