Janet welcomes you into her Closet

By |2018-01-15T15:40:00-05:00May 25th, 2006|News|

WYANDOTTE – Miss Janet Law started out life as Mr. JR Law. A typical teenager, JR was taken with rock and roll and racing cars. While living on Detroit’s Northwest side he taught himself electronics and landed a job with Capitol Music as a technician. There, JR got the chance to meet, and even on occasion jam with, many of Motown’s greatest bands and celebrities. As fun as music was, it wasn’t particularly profitable. Even before music, engines were just something that grabbed JR’s interest, and there was money in that. So JR quit the music business to begin building engines and race cars.
“Racing was everywhere at the time,” Law continued. “There was all-night drag racing on Telegraph and Woodward. I was a night person. I’d stay out all night and sleep all day.”
Law eventually opened a speed shop in Wyandotte, National Machined Engine, which he built into the largest in the state. He even managed the Detroit Drag Way for a time. A workaholic, he went through three wives and was considering taking on a fourth when something happened that changed his life forever.
“I was going to meet a lady that I had been corresponding with and was looking for a place to take her on our first date,” said Law. “I had been looking for a place with live entertainment when I saw an ad for a female impersonators show. I thought, ‘Wow this would be great.'”
But Law wasn’t sure about going to a gay bar on his own, much less with a new date. On a fluke, he decided to drop in and check out the place prior to taking his date there. Once inside, he noticed that the place was full of women and confirmed with the waiter that he was in a gay bar.
“Dude, these ain’t women,” the waiter said. “They’re cross-dressers.”
JR thought the cross-dressers would be hiding behind the stage, only coming out to perform. He never expected to find a place full of them drinking and dancing and playing pool.
“It was tremendously fascinating and I just was – at that very point in time – gripped to do it,” said Law.
He never met the girl he was going to take there. Instead, he began going there dressed as a woman. JR was initially unsure how becoming Janet would affect his reputation in the racing world – not to mention the business he had built from the ground up. So JR kept his cross-dressing secret. However, being an entrepreneur, JR started a website and began making and selling cross-dresser items online. Operating out of his home, soon he had converted his garage into a boutique from which he sold clothes and did makeovers and transformations as Janet.
Then it happened. An ex-employee found out about Janet and the Web site. He printed up pictures of JR in drag and passed them all over town, including the racetrack where JR operated the parts truck in the pits and was technical advisor. The rumor spread like wildfire. JR had to make a decision real fast. Either bury Janet and try to dig out or go for it. JR chose the latter, and soon Janet began appearing behind the sales counter at the speed shop, complete with blonde hair, painted nails, and feminine clothing.
Soon after, in August of 2005, Janet got breast implants. She then went through all the legal challenges to change her name and sex on her driver’s license, birth certificate, and other legal documents. Now, as if all this wasn’t enough of a shock to put her macho racers through, Janet took 5,000 square feet of the racers’ showroom in her shop and converted it into a beautiful cross-dresser superstore called Janet’s Closet. From there, Janet helps guide others through the same transformation she underwent.
“I’ve been trained by some of the very, very best,” said Law, who has to date performed hundreds of transformations and also travels all over the country speaking at transgender conventions. “I’ve taken the best of every technique I can find. When someone comes in, I know what’s going to make them look best.”
Often, the results lead to tears as clients see a reflection that matches what they feel on the inside for the first time in their lives.
“They all experience shock, and many have literally broken down and started crying,” said Law. “I’ve had some people literally come apart when they see themselves transformed. They just cannot believe that they can look so feminine and sexy.”
But if Janet’s shedding any tears these days, they’re definitely joy-filled. Single and looking for her significant other, Janet is having the time of her life.
“This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” she said. “I’m well accepted everywhere I go.”

About the Author:

Jason A. Michael
Jason A. Michael earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Wayne State University before joining Between The Lines as a contributing writer in 1999. Jason has received both the Spirit of Detroit Award (presented by the Detroit City Council) and the Media Award from the Community Pride Banquet & Awards Ceremony for his writing and activism. Jason is also an Essence magazine bestselling author having written the authorized biography "Strength Of A Woman: The Phyllis Hyman Story," which he released on his own JAM Books imprint.