Emile Ratelband requests a Dutch court to change his date of birth to make him 20 years younger. (Emile Ratelband)…
In the quixotic struggle against old age, some people use skin care and spin-class.
It’s not enough for Emile Ratelband, a 69-year-old who feels he’s in the 40’s. The Dutch senior citizen asks a court in his hometown of Arnhem, southeast of Amsterdam, to change his birth certificate so that he says he took his first breath on March 11, 1969, instead of March 11, 1949. The judges heard his case Monday and promised that they would make a verdict in the next few weeks.
Ratelband sees his request as no different from a petition to change his name or gender he was assigned at birth – and does not interfere with this comparison to offend transgender people whose medical needs have been recognized by the American Medical Association. It comes down to free will, he claims.
“Today, in Europe and in the United States, we are free people,” he said in an interview with The Washington Post. “We can make our own decisions if we want to change our name or if we want to change our gender. So I want to change my age. My feeling about my body and my thoughts is that I’m about 40 or 45.”
Being in his 40’s would make his life much better, he explained.
For one, it would increase his dating opportunities. “If you’re 69 at Tinder, you’re outdated,” motivated Ratelband, who has seven children and is now without partner. His friends only invite him to change his age on dating apps. “But I do not want to lie,” he said. “If you lie, you must remember everything you say.”
It would also help him to land more projects at work. The coach and coach – and baker and pastor’s political provocator – said that potential customers ask him if he can “speak young languages” when he tells his age. He assures them that he is well-known in the youth road. But they are skeptical and tell him that their other options are “young in the minds of life.” He assures them that he is more experienced, wiser and more knowledgeable, but he begins to think that these attributes may not suffice
He wants to be young again, and he has the physical fitness to match, said Ratelband.
He has low blood pressure, he said. His leader works well. His view is clear. His mental health is in top shape, he reported. “Well, I guess,” he said. “I get everything checked every two years.”
Here he said to officials at the town hall, where he first went to ask for the change.
“Are you crazy?” They asked and rejected their request. It was not his first brush with the officials at the town hall. Many years ago, they refused to let him name their twins Rolls and Royce, after the car manufacturer. He continues to call them with these titles, but made his legal name France and Minou.
This time he was uncomfortable and told his lawyer that he would bring the case to court.
Assume the location book used by transgender people consistent with changing their birth certificate, which often requires submission to psychiatric evaluation, Ratelband agreed to see professionals that he was not a “victim of the Peter Pan syndrome” he expressed it. He convinced experts that he was not where he condemned himself, he said, and that he understood the consequences of his actions.
At first he said the judges “laughed like little girls”.
But after he had left an inspiring speech about how modern society freed itself from the false gods in money and government and religion – “nowadays we are free people,” he certainly told them-they became more receptive in his narrative .
Ratelband’s desire to recreate himself is clearly American, he said, and comes from his education under Tony Robbins, motivational guru and master of life chasing. He lived and traveled with Robbins for about six months in the late 1980s, he said, and came to believe that “you have to make your dreams real from visualization.”
“This is American thinking,” he said. “Why can not I change my age if I want to? You have to stretch yourself. If you think you can jump a meter, now I want to jump 20. If you earn 100 grand a month, I want to earn 120 grand.”
He made a comparison with the forces that raised President Trump, claiming that people do not want to be told how to live or what to believe, and appreciate that the president has cut himself away from the standards of decorum that ruled past presidents.
“He’s only himself,” he said. “Trump is the first to be honest. He shows his feel on Twitter and says to everyone:” Close up. “He is a new type of person.”