FEATURED COVER GIRL
♥ Michelle Houston ♥
Click on Michelle’s portrait below to go to her Facebook page.
One of my earliest recollections from, perhaps, kindergarten is wanting to wear a strapless dress with a mink stole and high heels. Some 10 years later I made it to a small store up the street and purchased a pair of pantyhose. I tried them on, my first female apparel ever, and experienced my first taste of the incredible bliss that comes from crossdressing. Baby steps, right? Nearly another decade later I made my pilgrimage to Lee’s Mardi Gras Boutique on 10th Avenue in Manhattan and purchased my complete kit. I did myself up as best I could and made my debut at the mall. It was a deserved disaster. I looked horrible, the teens followed me around with relentless cat calls. Ugh. Shortly thereafter, my bride to be found my stash and we had “the discussion”. That was the start of 30 years of DADT and both of us trying to make sense of it all. But, I’m getting ahead of my story. My first real outing was to a meeting of the Seahorse Society in London in my early 20’s while on business. I looked pretty good and the group was most welcoming. I asked for feedback and one of the locals advised “you need a lot of powder, you’re all shiny”. Circumstances dictated a decades long period of abstinence after that, other than very occasional outings to fill the gas tank or walk the length of a strip mall after the stores had closed. The turning point came in my mid 40’s when I organized a trip to the immortal Jamie Austin in Massachusetts. He did me up, I looked in the mirror and had that “OH MY GOD I AM A WOMAN” moment. RIP, Jamie. Right around then I started making peace with myself. Something to the effect of “I have a peculiar strand of DNA. I don’t understand it, but I’m not going to stress over it, I’m just going to enjoy it.” So, a late bloomer, but for the last 15 years I’ve been totally comfortable being out and about. Been out to eat over 100 times, and have indulged myself with dozens of makeovers, my favorite pampering indulgence. Been working hard on my bucket list. I’ve had 3 boudoir shoots, worn drag to a drag show, spent a week 24/7 each of the last 5 years in Las Vegas, had a bridal fitting, gotten eyelash extensions, entered a Rocky Horror costume contest as Janet Weiss, and much more.
My wife of 36 years has worked extremely hard to make her peace with her husband with a peculiar strand of DNA. For 30 years we were pretty much DADT but in the last six or so we’ve progressed to “tolerant DADT”. I never ever dress when she’s at home but, equally, she knows I’m going to indulge when she’s away. I’ve moved my stash from a suitcase in the crawl space to the closet of my man cave. Yes, this results in long periods of abstinence followed by binge dressing. It’s all based on compromise but a situation we’re both comfortable with.