Regina Jun prides herself on being the first bisexual, Asian-American GLIFAA president in the organization’s 23-year history.
Formerly Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies, GLIFAA, a non-profit, voluntary membership organization, represents LGBT personnel, their families and allies in the U.S. Department of State and other federal offices and agencies with foreign affairs components.
“As we have seen at our recent Out Ambassadors event, we have come a long way, yet our work is far from done,” Jun says. “Our global LGBT staff and their families want nothing more than to serve our country and I am honored to build on the past legacy of GLIFAA to advance workplace equality in our agencies.”
Jun, also a foreign service officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development, is a 38-year-old Chino Hills, Calif., native who has lived in Korea, Paraguay, Turkey, Sweden and elsewhere. She’s also traveled to about 45 countries. She came to Washington four years ago for her job with USAID.
She is married to Chris (a man), her partner of three years (she declines to give his last name). They live in Southwest D.C. Jun enjoys hiking, cooking and travel in her free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
Since college. My mom was definitely the hardest person to tell initially. Being out of the closet seems to be a never-ending process because bisexuality is something that is still confusing to a lot of people.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
Margaret Cho. She paved the way in mainstream America with a message that being Asian, woman and queer is OK.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
Monthly GLIFAA happy hour. It’s a great way to catch up with my friends, meet new people, check out a new venue or visit old favorites.
Describe your dream wedding.
My very own back in November — small but really fun and personal celebration with family and friends at a lodge with a big fireplace in the mountains.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Democracy, human rights and governance. Too often, we allow systems to fail and people to become marginalized.
What historical outcome would you change?
Nothing. We learn better from our mistakes and I think we just need to do a better job at learning faster and not repeating similar mistakes.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
David Hasselhoff performing on top of the Berlin Wall. Did I just date myself?
On what do you insist?
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
A letter signed by 125 members of Congress supporting equality for LGBT Foreign Service families, and of course, the Blade article about it!
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“Moving: Misadventures of a Global Citizen”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
I am thankful for all the life experiences that my sexuality allowed me and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
Soul. We each have something that connects us and makes us want a better world for all living beings.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
First, thank you for having done so much of the hard work. Progress will be easier when there are more of us and the only way to get more people to care about the issue is by being inclusive.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
Dinner with Gandhi or Harvey Milk.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
Stereotypes are all absurd, but bisexuals being seen as not trustworthy, promiscuous and dirty is personally hurtful to me.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
“But I’m a Cheerleader.” It cheers me up.
What’s the most overrated social custom?
“Ladies first.” People should just be courteous to each other.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
Nobel Peace Prize. Why not dream big?
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
Each person has a potential to make a difference in other people’s lives.
The people! I have random moments of amazing connections. When I got a call confirming that I got my USAID job, I broke out in a little happy dance in front of Macy’s. When I explained to the security guard what had just happened, she was so happy for me, she did a happy dance with me. It was great!