Spain has passed a law allowing transsexuals who have not had a sex change to alter their gender on birth certificates and other documents.
Only a third of Spain's 8,000 transsexuals opt for surgery to realign their gender.
Many transsexuals who do not look like the sex on their identification face ridicule, discrimination and unemployment, activists say.
The governing Socialists say the new law will give them back their dignity.
Alec Cassanova, of the National Federation for Lesbians, Gays and Transsexuals, told the BBC: "Transsexuals who cannot go through surgery due to health reasons...they will finally be granted this right."