00:27 GMT25 February 2020
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    A Dutch pensioner doesn't just think he's only as young as he feels; he's been inspired by the transgender rights movement to initiate a legal battle to change his legal age, insisting that he identifies himself as a much younger man.

    Emile Ratelband, a 69-year old Dutch pensioner, author, former millionaire, and founder of Ratelband Research Institute and the Ratelband Foundation, has started a legal battle to have his actual age changed legally. According to The Telegraph, he says he is motivated by his desire to go back to work and, on top of that, have more success with women on the popular dating app Tinder.

    His local authorities have unsurprisingly refused to change his legal age in response to his request, and Ratelband has filed a lawsuit; he has several arguments to back up his demand.

    Ratelband pointed out that transgender people are allowed to change their legal sex, citing self-identification as their grounds: those who identify themselves as a person of another gender, are allowed to insist on being treated, for all legal purposes, as a person with that gender. Therefore, Ratelband says, if he identifies himself as a man 20 years younger than he is, he should be allowed similar changes to his documents.

    He is not building his argumentation on his self-identification alone, however. According to Ratelband, he had a medical exam which said he has the body of a 45-year-old man.

    "I have done a check-up and what does it show? My biological age is 45 years," Ratelband said in an interview.

    "When I'm 69, I am limited. If I'm 49, then I can buy a new house, drive a different car. I can take up more work," he continued. "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."

    "Transgenders can now have their gender changed on their birth certificate, and in the same spirit there should be room for an age change," he argues.

    According to Ratelband's claims, companies in the Netherlands are reluctant to hire people of his age as consultants.

    He also argues that his wish would be good for the government, as he will renounce all his pension benefits until he reaches retirement age again.

    The judge working on Ratelband's lawsuit reportedly expressed sympathy for his case, opining that not so long ago the idea of sex change had been unthinkable.

    However, the court presented a similarly valid argument, saying that changing Ratelband's age would essentially mean legally deleting a period of his life.

    They argued that if Ratelband's age was to be reduced, what would be the status of his early years then? 

    "For whom did your parents care in those years? Who was that little boy back then?," the judge asked rhetorically, according to The Telegraph.

    The Arnhem city court in Gelderland province is expected to review the case and issue a written ruling within four weeks.


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    age, transgender, lawsuit, law, Emile Rattelband, Netherlands
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