After the meditation class, Mr. Flower called Ms. Savage to ask if the fact that he was transgender was a problem for her.
“I guess not,” Mrs. Savage replied.
But in truth, Mrs. Savage was taken aback; Her entire identity and social life in Oakland, California, was built around the female and lesbian musical communities. After a childhood in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Ms. Savage, now a senior quality engineer at a Bay Area technology company, had lived in various southern cities and London before landing in the Bay Area. la Bahía in 1993. There, with an ex-partner, she raised a daughter, now 20 and attending the University of Oregon.
She also dove into the nascent lesbian punk music scene, playing bass and singing in multiple bands including Hail Marys, Dolorata, MILF. The Band and Halford Wives, a Judas Priest cover band. He currently plays in easy queenwho are described on their website as “three fierce, feminist and fun people who forge fabulous funky rock”.
In January 2021, on the exact anniversary of Flower’s then-expiring no-dating promise, Savage agreed to a date in Santa Cruz, a coastal town halfway between their homes. During a walk by the sea, they asked questions; Ms. Savage was curious about Mr. Flower’s transition journey. “I asked maybe 800 offensive questions,” she said. “And Ande rolled easily with every one of them.”
While Ms. Savage didn’t foresee a romantic future for the two, Mr. Flower, true to his light-hearted sensibilities, remained optimistic about a relationship. His journey to become who he was and to know what he wanted had been a long one. A gregarious and athletic boy with many friends, he was raised by a single mother in St. Cloud, Florida, and when he was young, he was often mistaken for a boy. “I always loved that,” he said.