UTRECHT, The Netherlands – Self-assured positivity guru Emile Ratelband believes that age is only a number. And the Dutchman wants his number changed.
The 69-year-old TV personality has asked a Dutch court to approve his request for a new birthday, which would make him officially 49 years old.
Ratelband says his appeal is in line with other forms of personal transformation that are gaining acceptance and recognition by the government in the Netherlands and around the world.
"With this free choice, the choice of the name and the freedom of sex I would like to have my own age. I want to control myself, "he said on Thursday.
Ratelband says he wants to avoid age discrimination in society – especially on dating sites.
"If I ask for a mortgage, for example, they say it's impossible," he told The Associated Press. "When I go to Tinder, I get women of 68, 69, when there are women."
How about sparing dealing with the truth about his age?
"I do not want to lie," he said. "I want to be myself, so do not force me to lie."
Marjolein van den Brink, who specializes in human rights and gender issues at the University of Utrecht's Law School, said that age discrimination is a problem, but different from the issues of gender reassignment.
"It's pretty clear that older people have a much lower chance of getting a job than younger people," she said. "But that's just one element and it only happens when you're 40, 45, 50 years old, depending on your job.
"Gender is something that haunts you from birth to the grave and it determines almost everything – not just on the job market, but everywhere," she said.
In rare cases, even the race has become more fluid.
In the UK, theater director Anthony Ekundayo Lennon has received some attention because, though he is the son of White Irish parents, he looks like a mixed race man. He also wrote to journalists and told that he considers himself black.
He says he was racially abused for his looks as a teenager, and when he started an acting career, it was easier for him to pursue non-white parts. He also adopted an African middle name.
Now some black artists are complaining because Lennon recently received paid training in a program designed to give more black people a chance at a career in the arts.
His case is somewhat similar to that of Rachel Dolezal, a white woman in the United States who identified herself as black after being educated by religious parents who had adopted four black children. She worked for the NAACP when her ruse was discovered in 2015.
According to Ratelband, the Dutch TV personality, the Dutch government could benefit from accepting his pension. He said he would like to give up his monthly pension of around € 1,200 – a concession that he thinks would save almost € 300,000 in the 20 years he wants to save his old age.
The court in downtown Arnhem is expected to pass judgment in about four weeks.
Ratelband, which encourages its livelihood and motivates people and businesses to be positive, denies that the Age Inquiry is a publicity stunt. He claims he is looking for a personal positive effect.
"Now I am an old man. I have to save my money to give it to my children so they can live, "said the seven-headed father. "But when I'm that old again, I have hope again. I am new again The whole future is here again for me. "
Gregory Katz in London contributed to it.
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