Gay and transgender activists have welcomed a new French law that lets transgender people change their legal status without having to be sterilised.
The activist group ILGA-Europe called it "clear progress" that "another European country has dispensed with the shameful practice of sterilisation".
But it regretted that trans people in France will still have to get a court to recognise their gender change.
Laws in Denmark, Malta, Ireland and Norway have gone further, it said.
In those countries, legal gender recognition relies on the principle of "self-determination" - dispensing with medical or judicial requirements.
That principle was also advocated by the Council of Europe - the top European human rights watchdog - in an anti-discrimination resolution last year.
The Council of Europe says transgender people often face discrimination in Europe, in the workplace, housing, health services or in the form of bullying and hate speech.
Gender has to be specified on passports, driving licences and many other essential documents.