DEAR ABBY: Yesterday I made a visit to a city larger than the one in which I currently reside and encountered a problem I have never had before.
I was in a women's restroom when a man wearing a wig walked in. It was obvious that this 6-footer, with a large Adam's apple, deep husky voice, dressed in a floral print dress and high heels, was a man.
Should a transvestite be allowed to use the ladies' restroom? And if sex change surgery was performed, are there any visible signs? -- BEWILDERED IN ADA, OKLA.
DEAR BEWILDERED: There is a difference between a transvestite (someone who feels compelled to wear the clothing of the opposite sex) and a transsexual. A transsexual is a person who feels trapped in the body of the wrong sex. Before a transsexual is allowed to have gender reassignment surgery, he or she must live for one year in the role of someone of the opposite sex. This includes using the restroom facilities of the opposite gender. It is not against the law, and it was no threat to you. (And it was probably safer for the pre-op transsexual than using the men's room would have been.)
When sex change surgery is performed, the surgeons have perfected their technique to such a degree that it can be difficult, if not impossible, to tell that it has been done.