THE HAGUE – A 69-year-old Dutch citizen has begun a legal battle to lower his age by 20 years, claiming he feels discriminated against because of his seniority and that the change would boost his prospects in life, including in the world of online dating, he told EFE on Thursday.
Emile Ratelband, who works as a positivity coach and motivational speaker, believes that legally changing his birthday from March 11, 1949 to March 11, 1969 would restore his access to certain opportunities from which he feels excluded as he heads into his seventh decade on the planet.
“I feel rejected by the world,” he told EFE. “I feel like I am between 40 to 45 years old, but my documents say I’m 69. I suffer the discrimination that comes with that age nowadays.”
“I can’t date in the same way, I can’t request a mortgage nor take on the kind of work I want,” he added.
He lamented his lack of success on the popular dating app Tinder and said it was because women were not interested in meeting a man of his age.
He said he would find more success if his profile said he was 49, adding that it would be more in line with his “attractive” physical features.
Ratelband, a Buddhist convert and locally well-known figure as a motivational guru, was the father of seven children from three relationships and has been married twice.
He said he thought it unjust that a person could undergo a process to legally change their gender but not their age.
“This is all a matter of raising awareness about the changing times, things aren’t like they were in our parents’ age,” he said. “We have to build a new identity because age is a key issue in our times.”
The local court in the city of Arnhem, 90 kilometers (55 miles) southeast of Amsterdam, is expected to rule on this case within four weeks.