Yesterday's election results certainly came as no surprise to me, but they distress me none the less.
For many who would have preferred a different outcome, I suppose this is one of the many swings of the pendulum, and they know it will eventually swing back their way.
It is harder for LGBT people.
This is the first president in a long time where we really believed there would be change. A President who we thought believed we should be full citizens. And we dared to hope.
Hope can be a devastating thing.
We have made certain advances in the past two years. At least talking about the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is on the agenda. The repeal of DOMA has been discussed. The courts, who have always been at the forefront of social change (i.e. Brown v Board of Education and Loving v Virginia) have acknowledged what we LGBT people have always known. We are subject to discriminatory treatment simply because some find us distastful.
And in the Foreign Service, we have seen a sea change. We have a Secretary who is an ally, who has already done everything within her power to address the inequities her employees face. Life in the Foreign Service is better than it was two years ago.
But my legal marriage is still not legal in the place I reside (we so need to move). We still lack the protections afforded to other families, even those who married in a drunken stupor in Vegas. Even those who have never devoted a minute to the service of our great country.
It has been said that African Americans who served in the military when they were still not treated equally kept faith with this country even when this country did not keep faith with them. This is exactly how I see my service.
And now I fear the small advances we have made will be taken away.
The Virginia governor shortly after being elected repealed employment protections for LGBT people. The Attorney General said that colleges must not have non-discrimination protections either. The advances we have made are few and fragile. And I am afraid.
But I am still serving, still trying to keep faith.