Fermín remembers November, 4, 2008—Obama had just been elected, but Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative to eliminate the right to marry for same-sex couples, passed the same day. On November 4, 2008, he felt sad, angry, and confused; his work on the “No on Proposition 8” campaign on campus seemed for naught. When he asked his college dormmates to vote “No on 8,” and they asked if he would vote, he had to admit he was not a citizen. Fermín could not hide his undocumented status much longer, and thanks to the growing activist within, he would eventually share his story in the student paper.
On June 12, 2011, Fermín graduated from Stanford University with a BA in public policy. In college, the greatest thing he learned did not come from a book or a lecture; it was to love himself for who he is. He plans to continue gay and immigrant rights activism beyond college.