Transgender Airmen Describes departure from Christian Upbringing

A Nellis Air Force Base Air Traffic Controller, SrA Irene Nelson, recently posted an official personal interest article about his “transition” to a woman. He made the important note that he was raised in a conservative Christian household:

I grew up in a very conservative Christian household…

My parents had issues with my sexual orientation (surprise), and they took me to a gay conversion seminar when I was about 15 years old…

I spent endless hours studying the Bible and praying for God to give me clarity as to why I had these temptations or feelings. Why couldn’t he take them away? Nothing is as hard as your whole world telling you that you are wrong. Your existence is wrong.

Lost in Nelson’s religious and philosophical musings is an important point. What if the “whole world [is] telling you that you are wrong” because you are wrong? More to the point, “right” and “wrong” aren’t defined by what the world says, anyway. The “whole world” can say you’re right — and you’d still be wrong.

One of the more interesting things in his story is that as an adult he sought out and received “affirmation” in his sexual journey — but it does not appear anyone came along side him to reassure him as God created him.

Finally, Nelson made an illogical leap that to be wrong is equivalent to “your existence is wrong.” Everyone is “wrong” — because everyone is a sinner in need of a Savior. But even if the “wrong” is specified as a murder, theft, homosexuality, adultery, gluttony, or some such thing, there is no logical or theological basis to conclude that one’s existence is wrong.  That is a tragic expression of self-hate and lack of hope.

Nelson’s truest hope was found in the faith of his family: God created him, and God loves him. It is because of God that Nelson exists. That isn’t “wrong.”

Now, what one chooses to do with what God has done — that’s another thing altogether.

Nellis AFB posted this on their Facebook page, which became exhibit 9,873 that the transgender issue is a divisive topic about which people have (and will long have) very strong feelings.  One person asked who paid for his surgeries, and Nelson spoke up in the comments to say he hasn’t had any.

In other words, Airman Nelson — a physical, biological male — is now allowed to shower and bunk with women (an issue noted last year but just now gaining significant attention).  By the way, if you don’t like it, you’re a bigot.

At least one person in the comments made an astute point and outright asked Nellis AFB Public Affairs to publish other “testimonies”:

When are you going to have a testimony, about someone that has a different perspective (this one obviously put down Christians). To be fair and equal, you need to include a story about someone’s changed life after they became a Christian.

It’s a fair question, and to their credit, Nellis AFB PA tried to answer it by linking to two articles: one from a chaplain in 2017, and one from a chaplain’s assistant in 2015. In a manner of speaking, however, religious discussions are part of the job description for those two Airmen, and neither of those two articles discussed the personal religious journeys of faith of those Airmen in any detail.

By contrast, sexuality and gender are not part of Nelson’s job description as an Air Traffic Controller. Nellis promoted his personal viewpoint without any connection to his professional credibility. Some would say that’s fine — if they do the same for others, including the opposing viewpoint. Thus, the question of the commenter: Where’s the Christian testimony from an Air Traffic Controller, or Security Forces officer, or pilot?  And where’s the detailed Christian testimonial about conversion and finding the “right” faith?

Oh, there are a few, no doubt, though most of the time religious faith (of non-chaplains) isn’t the actual subject of official Air Force news articles. Rather, most of the time there’s only a passing reference to faith. Even worse, at least one commander who tired of the attention outright censored his Public Affairs by prohibiting stories of faith, something other commanders or PAs have likely done as well, even if unofficially, which has nearly eliminated testimonies of faith in official military articles.

Thus, most people only even hear about the faith of US troops mentioned in the press when Michael “Mikey” Weinstein complains about these men and women discussing their faith in God, demanding their court-martial.

By contrast, did any “non-profit charities” demand the crucifixion of Nelson and his entire chain of command because of his public testimony of sexuality? Where’s the official demand letter to the Air Force decrying his proselytization of neo-sexuality? (A few people did complain about his out-of-regs fingernails, but PA dismissed the “pink daggers” as bad lighting.)

Kind of gives you a picture of the disparate treatment of sexuality and religion in society today.

Yet, there is hope.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 (ESV)



  • Anonymous Imperial Patriot

    Further reason why I would purge the military of these people if I were in Trump’s shoes

  • I don’t care what’s between her legs, as long as she’s a good air traffic controller.

    • @Herc Pilot
      Interesting perspective, but potentially not well thought out.

      Is being a “good air traffic controller” really all you care about, or all the institutional military should care about?

      Do you care what is between a person’s ears? Would an “issue” there affect your trust in them as, say, your ATC? Or if they’re good at their job you don’t care about their mental state or capacity?

      Do you care if a person is a drug dealer, child molester, or tax evader on the weekend but good at their job during the week?

      It’s likely you draw a line somewhere. One question remains: Upon what rational basis do you choose where you draw the line (or where the military as an institution should draw the line)? It’s certainly not just “good ATC”.

    • Since he has a penis, he needs to bunk and take showers with the men, not the women, where are the women’s rights to privacy when they shower or pee??? He will always be a he not a she. He will always have male chromosomes and DNA, and if he chooses to even have an operation, he will still have a prostate gland!
      Transsexuals do not need to be in our military. The needs of the few do not out weigh the needs of the many or the one.

  • As I have posted before, I don’t believe the DoD/Military can solve the transgender (TG) issue to the greater satisfaction. However JD, you imply there is a comparison with this TG’s trustworthiness, with a drug dealer, child molester, or tax evader; I don’t see this. Herc Pilot stated as long as the ATC can do the job what does it matter if he/she is a TG? You are/were an aircrew yourself, did you know the preferred sex of anyone else in the ATC business you spoke to on a radio if they were trustworthy enough to ensure your safety of flight? I’ll guess you didn’t know–how could you? If you did know, would you ask to speak with a “real” man or woman? I jest, but I made my point.

    Yes, it is also likely there are drug dealers, child molesters and tax evaders in the Military, can you spot them? A co-worker of mine was an adulterer, I never in a million years expected it. He was highly respected and on the path to greater success, but an adulterer for 3 years before anyone found out. He was a solid troop, how could we not trust him? Some do not believe adultery is a crime and some bosses/commanders and generals go to great lengths to protect their “rock stars” from the lawyers (reason 40 the UCMJ is flawed).

    TG’s are not necessarily mental; they likely know who they are and quite capable of doing their job regardless of their preferred sex. It DOES matter what is between the ears, but logic dictates there is no comparison to criminals, unless they actually commit a crime. Lets not throw the baby out with the bath water on this, but again, I admit the TG issue is likely DOA for the Military, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing either.

    • @watchtower
      Your meandering reply somewhat proves the point. How can you justify a moral standard in one case and not another — when both people can “do their job”?