A transgender woman and a gay man have married in Cuba.

Wendy Iriepa, 37, and Ignacio Estrada, 31, said their marriage is a significant step forward for LGBT rights in the country.

The couple had a civil ceremony on Saturday in Havana on the date of former president Fidel Castro’s 85th birthday. They called the union a “gift” to him.

Ms Iriepa, who had Cuba’s first legal sex reassignment surgery in 2007, is recognised in law as a woman. Her husband has said previously that although he identifies as a gay man, he fell in love with her when they met earlier this year.

After the ceremony, the couple wrapped themselves in the rainbow flag to walk through the streets.

Castro recently apologised for how gay people were treated during the 1960s.

The former leader’s niece, Mariela, who is the country’s most prominent LGBT rights campaigner, did not attend but sent a message to the happy couple.

Ms Castro, the head of the National Sex Education Centre, which campaigns for LGBT rights, said: “One of our accomplishments has made it possible for Wendy to get married.

“It seems she found the love of her life and we wish her many congratulations, because all of our work has been for this, the well-being and happiness of our sisters.”