From fearful to fearless
The summer of 2010 was the start of a new chapter for me and my partner. Recently married, we had just moved to Maryland and purchased our first home, and I was beginning my career at Fannie Mae. I was happy and excited — but our new life was also fraught with obstacles.
A fearful beginning
As a gay couple whose marriage wasn’t legally recognized in the state we lived in, we didn’t have the same rights as straight couples. We could be denied hospital visitation privileges and medical decision-making rights and could not adopt a child together.
Until 2020, there were no federal laws in place that expressly prohibited employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, so anyone that identified as LGBTQ+ could lose their job. You read that right — just two years ago.
At my previous companies, I kept my personal life separate from my professional life because of my vulnerable legal status. I feared what might happen if I was too candid with my colleagues. I could lose my job or be unable to advance in my career. I feared that I would be treated differently for loving the person that I love. Back then, there was no “coming out” at the workplace — it simply didn’t happen, and I had no desire to rock the boat.
All I wanted was to hang a picture of my husband in my cube without fear.
Because of those fears, I wasn’t initially “out” when I started working at Fannie Mae. However, I came to realize that being my authentic, whole self was not only accepted at Fannie Mae, but encouraged. It felt great to come out to my manager and have him ask, and truly care, about my husband.
When I joined the company’s Live Openly Employee Resource Group (ERG), it felt like a home away from home. I began attending monthly “Safe Space” meetings where I could bring up LGBTQ+ concerns and questions and connect with like-minded others. Because I worked in Learning and Development, I volunteered to help create and facilitate training sessions on allyship. I was proud of this work, and when Fannie Mae achieved its first 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, I was overjoyed.
As I started to become more active in the diversity and inclusion space, I decided to move from fearful to fearless. I pulled off that rainbow-colored bandage and embraced my intersectional identity as a married, Latino, gay male with a disability.
I even mustered up the courage to finally hang a picture of my husband in my cube.
Inclusivity at our core
Fannie Mae now participates in the D.C. Capital Pride parade and festival, promotes inclusive email signatures, provides quarterly “Allies 101” and trans awareness training, and offers comprehensive surrogacy benefits — making allyship central to its corporate culture.
Fannie Mae is committed to promoting diversity and fostering inclusion. Its ERGs support and empower employees to help their colleagues reach their highest potential through education, raising awareness, and celebrating diversity.
Ready to join our team? Search our open opportunities.
Editor’s note — In memory of Rocky W. We mourn the passing of our colleague’s loving husband on May 22, 2022.
An Equal Opportunity Employer
Fannie Mae is an equal employment opportunity employer and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender expression, marital or parental status, or any other protected factor. Fannie Mae is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment, unless to do so would cause undue hardship to the company. If you need assistance using our online system and/or you need a reasonable accommodation related to the hiring/application process, please complete this form.
RECRUITMENT FRAUD ALERT: Please be aware of recruitment scams that may involve offering fictious job opportunities, requesting personal information, or demanding payments during the recruitment process. All open positions are located on Fannie Mae’s careers site and are based in the United States. Official Fannie Mae email addresses end with @fanniemae.com and Fannie Mae will not use online chats or instant messaging to conduct interviews. Fannie Mae will not ask for a financial commitment from candidates during the recruiting process. Please contact us via e-mail if you are concerned you have been offered employment with Fannie Mae that might be a scam or contacted for a job by an individual who does not represent or work at Fannie Mae.
California residents, under the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), Fannie Mae is required to inform any California resident who is our job applicant about the categories of “personal information” we collect about you and the purposes for which we will use this information. To read the full notice, please click here.