Are You Legally As Young As You Feel? [PHIL-OSOPHY]
If attitude is the true measurement of age, Emile Ratelband, 69, might be a much younger man. The 69-year-old is asking a court to be declared 49, saying that age is just as changeable as gender--and if this bothers transgender people, that's their problem.
He and his lawyer argued before a Dutch court that his age request is similar to a petition to change one's gender assigned at birth. They want to court to change his birth certificate so that it says he was born on March 11, 1969, rather than March 11, 1949. In the meantime, Ratelband told The Washington Post that he feels like he's 20 years younger, and has the physical fitness to match. He says being 49 would enhance his dating prospects and land him more job offers, among other things.
Before petitioning the court, Ratelband first went to the officials at his town hall to ask for the change. "Are you crazy?" they replied, saying no to his request. So he's taken his fight to court, using similar methods transgender people use to alter their birth certificates. The judges asked Ratelband to submit to psychiatric evaluation. He convinced the experts that wasn't delusional, and that he understood the consequences of his actions.
If he's successful legally changing his age so he could be 20 years younger, what's next in this age of change? The judges promised they'd render a verdict in the next few weeks. I bet you he loses round one, appeals the decision and then has a huge party celebrating his new 49th!
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.