image via Metro Times Detroit
“Tranny space,” Metro Times Detroit
But it’s not exactly business as usual, because the proposed club will be for cross-dressing men and transgender people. Club owner Janet Law (a self-described tranny who legally changed her name from Tom to Janet) and her lawyer say the case is more about dirty politics, the First Amendment right to assemble and discrimination against transgendered people.
Law owns a 15,000-square-foot building on Fort Street in the downriver community. National Engines, a garage and parts store for race cars, occupies about 12,000 square feet. Another part of the building is Janet’s Closet, a store selling wigs, makeup, clothing and accessories for cross-dressing men.
“We’re not an adult store. There’s no porn. There are no dildos. There’s no ass lube. There’s no butt plugs,” Law says. “This is an upscale store. It’s not a black room with one light bulb. This is a serious store for a cross-dresser or transgendered person.”
As her business grew, Law renovated the last 1,200 square feet of the building into the club. Men would be able to arrive in their “regular” clothes and use on-site locker rooms to apply makeup, do their hair and change into women’s apparel.
“There’s no sex here. There’s nothing like that,” Law says. “It’s a clean, discreet place for transgenders.”
“Officials keep club for cross-dressers shuttered,” The Detroit News
WYANDOTTE — Dressed for guests in heels and a short skirt, Janet Law sipped a drink alone in the private club she hopes to open for cross-dressing men.
She mailed invitations to city officials in hopes of making peace in a year-long feud over the club. None came Tuesday to Janet’s Place, the disco-lighted lounge and dance floor in the back of Law’s Fort Street speed shop and race car engine-building business, National Machined Engine.
“I was hopeful, but did I really think any of them would come and meet me and see what they fear? No,” said Law, 56, who was well-known in the car racing community as Edward “RJ” Law before getting breast implants four years ago and living as a cross-dresser.
City officials have refused to issue permits to allow Law to operate the club, insisting she lacks parking to accommodate customers. She and her lawyer say officials have ulterior motives and will make a final appeal Wednesday to the Zoning Board of Appeals before filing suit.
In a standoff that’s caught the attention of advocates in the transgender community, Law’s lawyer, Guy Conti, says Wyandotte is violating her constitutional rights because the 1,400-square-foot club otherwise meets zoning rules.