Full Transcript is Below:
– Hi, I’m Mary Sirico Levinson, Branch Manager with the Levinson & McLaughlin Team of NFM Lending. My office is located just outside of Baltimore, Maryland. I have 21 years in the mortgage industry of which 18 have been with NFM Lending. I work with many different clients from diverse backgrounds. This is a very important part of the work that we do. I recognize the inequity that still exists throughout many industries and I see the role in helping them and to address them, especially in the process of buying a home and selling a home and obtaining a mortgage. There is still a great divide. It is absolutely a part of our mission to be an equalizer and to ensure that all clients have access to helping in terms of the purchase process. There are aspects of my work that focus specifically on our LGBTQ clients and community. I was one of the very first sponsoring members of the LGBTQ Maryland Chamber of Commerce and still a very active member. I’m also a member of the LGBTQ Realtor Alliance, which has become a growing national platform for the LGBTQ realtors, lenders, associated professionals, to network and rely on each other to support our LGBTQ homeowners who can often be marginalized. Beyond the LGBTQ community, my team and I work with many other important organizations, such as the Johns Hopkins GYN Cancer Department in their fundraising Simple sacrifices, immovable fees and feeding the homeless around Baltimore city and the surrounding areas.
– We support many Baltimore city school teachers to help their struggling families during the holiday season. All of these are such important, impactful organizations. My voice matters because I believe that every person’s story is truly unique and it’s important to hear the many voices and to recognize how we are all woven together. For me, a critical piece of my story is that I’m an LGBTQ woman, a wife and a mother of two amazing kids. I’ve been living my life out loud for 30 years and I’ve always felt that it’s important to allow these parts of my life to be known, not only for myself, my kids, my family, but also for the world around me. When my wife Kim and I first started dating 18 years ago the world was a very different place. The discussion of legal same-sex marriage hadn’t even begun and the protections for the LGBTQ individuals in the workplace was certainly not universal. We recognize being out, telling our story and serving as an example has an impact and we see the impact in so many ways. We have helped change policies for insurance coverage for same-sex couples in various employment institutions. We were one of the first same-sex couples to get legally married. This was in Connecticut many years ago when it wasn’t legal nationally quite yet. Kim and I were the first same-sex couple to be listed parent-parent versus mother-father on our oldest son’s birth certificate almost 10 years ago. This played a role in the hospital and birthing registry to change this language on birth certificates for same-sex parents having children. Kim and I both have very public and professional careers and we hope that our openness and willingness to share our story serves as an example to continue to help the generations that follow. We are all in this together. And I sincerely hope that each other’s stories helps us better understand one another and how we can grow together and make the next positive step in the world.