A Spanish man who had his gender confirmed by civil officials.

He is thought to be the first beneficiary of a new law that allows transsexual people to be legally identified as a sex different from that recorded at birth without having undergone gender reassignement surgery.

50-year-old Julio Cuesta was granted official documents by the civil registry office in Valencia yesterday.

The Socialist government in Spain changed the law last month.

Now transsexual people have to provide medical notes diagnosing their condition and demonstrate they have undergone two years of hormone treatment to be entitled to new documentation.

Previously, Spanish transsexuals would have had to undergo surgery and then go to court to change their sex legally.

There are thought to be up to 10,000 transsexual people in Spain.