Man, 69, fighting to be recognised as 49 says he has ‘hit a nerve’

Pensioner, 69, fighting to be officially recognised as 49 says he has ‘hit a nerve’ by saying if people can legally swap sex they should also be able to change age

  • Emile Ratelband is a 69-year-old positivity guru famous in the Netherlands 
  • He says doctors told him he has a 45-year-old’s body and wants to be younger 
  • Ratelband is suing his local authority after they refused to amend his age  

A 69-year-old fighting to be officially recognised as 49 says he has ‘hit a nerve’ by suggesting that if people can legally swap sex they should also be able to change age.

Dutch pensioner Emile Ratelband made global headlines when it emerged that he had taken his local authority to court for refusing to amend his age on official documents.

Ratelband – who was born on  March 11, 1949, but wants to change his birth date to March 11, 1969 – argued that reducing his age by 20 years would mean he could get more work and attract more women on dating websites.

Having fathered seven children with three different woman, he says he also hopes to become a father two more times. 

The real-life Benjamin Button? Emile Ratelband (pictured in front of court) is battling to reduce his age by 20 years

He said that ‘in the same spirit there should be room for an age change.’ 

The entrepreneur and self-help guru has insisted that his court case is not a PR stunt.

He said: ‘It seems to be very-much talked about. So in some kind of strange way I managed to hit a nerve in society that everyone is saying: “He has got a point.”


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Mr Ratelband said his story is such a hit that he is due to fly to London to appear on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, for which he said he even managed to negotiate ‘a private jet to pick me up’.

The Dutchman said it is proven that ‘when you behave like a young man, your body takes the same shape’.

He said: ‘I take this very seriously. I have been psychologically checked to see if I suffer from the Peter Pan syndrome [a psychological disorder in which people who do not want or feel unable to grow up], that you just do not want to get older.

The positivity guru, a media personality in the Netherlands, is suing his local authority

‘Well, I do not suffer from it. I’m also not mentally insane. Of course I know that I get loads of criticism. On the internet they have all kinds of opinions. But the internet is a gutter full of unemployed people who are no-good, people who check all day for who they can slam this time.’

Mr Ratelband, who works as a consultant and self-proclaimed positivity and self-help guru, said that one of the main reasons to have his age lowered is that he will be able to pick up more girls.

Mr Ratelband said: ‘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 at the court in the Eastern Dutch city of Arnhem where his case has been discussed said that he had some sympathy with Mr Ratelband.

But the court said there would be practical problems in allowing people to change their birth date – as it would mean legally deleting part of their lives.

The judge asked Mr Ratelband about the status of his early years, from 1949 to 1969, if his official birth date was put back.

The judge asked: ‘Who did your parents care for in those years? Who was that little boy back then?’

The court is due to deliver a written ruling within four weeks.

The court said there would be practical problems in allowing people to change their birth date and it would mean legally deleting part of their lives. Pictured: Emile Ratelband

 

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