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NETHERLANDS: 69-year-old Begins Legal Battle To Self-Identify As 45-year-old

By Published November 09, 2018

In a world of gender fluidity and self-identification, a 69-year-old Dutch who says he does not feel his age has approached the courts to be legally seen and recognised as a 45 years old instead.

Emile Ratelband says he is being discriminated against on a dating sites because of his age, he told a court in Arnhem in the Netherlands that he did not feel “comfortable” with his date of birth, and compared his wish to alter it to people who identified as transgender.

Ratelband said he is struggling to find work and date due to having an official age that did not reflect his emotional state. He is therefore, seeking the court to change his date of birth from 11 March 1949 to 11 March 1969.

“When I’m 69, I am limited. If I’m 49, then I can buy a new house, drive a different car,” he said. “I can take up more work. When I’m on Tinder and it says I’m 69, I don’t get an answer. When I’m 49, with the face I have, I will be in a luxurious position.”

The judge conceded that the ability to change gender was a development in the law. “I agree with you: a lot of years ago we thought that was impossible,” he said. But he asked the applicant how his parents would feel about 20 years of Ratelband’s life being wiped off the records.

“For whom did your parents care? Who was that little boy then?” the judge asked.

Ratelband, a motivational speaker and trainer in neurolinguistics programming, said his parents were dead.

He also said he was willing to renounce his right to a pension to ensure there were no unforeseen consequences of his age change.

Ratelband’s lawyer said: “It is really a question of free will, it was high time for the reversal of age.’’

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