The last time the Spy interviewed Tina Jones, she spoke to us about her volunteer work as president of the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce and its long-term strategic plans. Tina was a natural leader of that group after a career serving as CFO for some of the region’s largest organizations, including the Delmarva Foundation (Now Qlarant), Sotera Defense Solutions, and more recently, Chesapeake College.
It was a good interview. With Tina’s help, the Chamber is adjusting to the “new economy” market forces, but the real dramatic change since 2018 is with Tina herself.
At the time of our Spy chat, Tina was actually named Tim. A native of Wittman, a graduate of local public schools, and now a highly regarded business leader, Tim had never doubted where he wanted to live or raise his family. With a devoted wife and two adult children, there was little indication that behind this foundation of normalcy was someone suffering daily from the psychological challenges of living with the wrong gender identity.
But, like many people of a certain age, Tim nevertheless found ways to navigate that world for decades with the painful awareness that his remaining years would mean keeping this lie alive as well.
That all changed dramatically when it was discovered that Tim had a brain tumor in 2019. While it was a relief that it turned out to be benign, this close encounter with death was all that was needed for Tim to decide there and then to start the transition process in what would be a second, more honest life as Tina.
In her Spy interview, Tina talks about this remarkable journey and its impact on her loved ones, the Mid-Shore community, and the future of transgender people living, working and loving on the Eastern Shore.
This video is approximately five minutes in length.