After the meditation class, Mr. Flower called Ms. Savage to ask if being transgender was a problem for her.
“I guess not,” Ms. Savage replied.
But in reality, Ms. Savage was worried. Her entire identity and social life in Oakland, California was built around the gay and women’s music communities. After a childhood in Rocky Mount, N.C., Ms. Savage, now a senior quality engineer at a Bay Area tech company, lived in several Southern cities and London before landing in the Bay Area in 1993. There, with a former female partner, he raised a daughter, now 20 and attending the University of Oregon.
He also immersed himself in the nascent gay punk music scene, playing bass and singing in a number of bands including Hail Marys, Dolorata, MILF! band, and the Halford Wives, Judas Priest cover band. She is currently playing. Easy Queendescribed on their website as “three fierce, feminist, funny folk forging fabulously funky rock”.
In January 2021, on the anniversary of Mr. Flower’s then-expired no-dating pledge, Ms. Savage agreed to meet between their homes in the coastal city of Santa Cruz. While strolling along the beach, they answered questions. Ms. Savage was curious about Mr. Flower’s transit. “I probably asked 800 aggressive questions,” he said. “And Ende got around easily with each of them.”
While Ms. Savage did not foresee a romantic future for the two of them, Mr. Flower, true to his sunny sensibilities, remained optimistic about the relationship. It was a long journey to find out who he was and what he wanted. An athletic, social child with many friends, he was raised by a single mother in St. Cloud, Fla., and was often mistaken for a boy when he was young. “It always makes me happy,” he said.