LIFE OF AGONY singer Mina Caputo (formerly known as Keith Caputo), who came out as transgender in 2011, has told Rolling Stone that her relationship with her bandmates is stronger than ever now that she is no longer hiding her new life from them.

“They knew I was eccentric,” she said. “I was a very effeminate guy. She was busting at the seams my whole life. It was just a little mind-blowing for everyone. Then it was like, ‘All right, now what?’ But we never officially broke up.”

Although LIFE OF AGONY drummer Sal Abruscato said in a 2012 interview that the band could no longer play live because “Keith wants to pursue his life and his lifestyle,” LIFE OF AGONY reunited again in 2014. Caputo, who admitted feeling hurt by Abruscato‘s comments, now says that there had been a misunderstanding. “Now he’s like, ‘My fuckin’ girlfriend’s here!’ when he sees me,” she told Rolling Stone. “All of the members of the band are so wonderful, holding doors open for me, carrying my bags, making sure I’m safe. They treat me like they treat their wives.

“I think it’s so beautiful, and I think it’s so special,” she continued. “What people don’t understand is not only are we transitioning ourselves, but the people around you need to transition as well. … I hope to marry a man just like one of the boys in the band. Because they’re very loyal.”

Asked by Long Island Pulse what made her decide to tell people she was transgender in 2011, Mina said: “Depression, anxiety, half-hearted suicide attempts… Overabundance of the worst drugs possible, self-destruction, self-hatred, shame, not loving thyself, wanting to be dead. You name it, I went through it. It was either that or I was probably going to OD or put a bullet in my head. I felt or saw no other option to carry on in life. It was a matter of life and death. What a lot of people don’t understand about folks like me is going through what we go through on a 24/7 basis, from society, from politicians, from all these bullshit institutions that are set into place for humanity to roll against people like me.”

She continued: “The past almost ten years that I’ve been out and medically transitioning and doing my thing, psychologically and biologically, I’m so Zen. I can observe the world very detached, not angrily. I believe in myself more now than I ever have. I’m very confident, I’m very happy, I’m very whole. Once you go through the certain obstacles and challenges, you just automatically flower. To bring up the lotus flower, the lotus flower grows in mud, and when it opens up, it’s like, ‘How can this gorgeous plant be born from such filth?’ And I feel that’s what’s been happening to me in my life, my entire life, before I was out and after. But there’s certain things that intuition demands you to do. And if you don’t do it, you live miserably.”

LIFE OF AGONY‘s new album, “A Place Where There’s No More Pain”, will be released on April 28 via Napalm.