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First transsexual in Madrid to request change in identity

A Spanish activist campaigning for transsexual rights said she had become the first person in the Spanish capital to request a legal change of name and sex.

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MADRID: A Spanish activist campaigning for transsexual rights said she had become the first person in the Spanish capital to request a legal change of name and sex under new laws passed last month.

Under the new law Carla Antonelli, who was born a man, can request a change to her name and sex on official documents without having to undergo a sex change operation.

On her website, Antonelli said she had 'the honour' to be the first to formally request a change of status in Madrid where she has lived for the last 25 years.

To qualify for the change Antonelli will have to show that she has been following medically-supervised hormonal treatments for at least two years to prepare her for taking on the characteristics of her new sexual identity.

Antonelli, now 47, changed her appearance when she was 17 years old, at a time under Franco when being a transsexual was punishable by a prison term.

Prior to the new law, would-be transsexuals could only change their identity and civil status on official documents after undergoing a sex change.

The Spanish endocrinological society puts the number of transsexuals in the country at 3,000, but associations who represent them put the figure as high as 9,000.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's Socialists have already pushed through a raft of liberal social policies, including the 2005 authorisation of same-sex 'marriages' and adoption by homosexuals.

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