Claiming age is as fluid as gender, Emile Ratelband, a 69-year-old Dutch pensioner who feels like he's in his 40s has asked a court in his hometown of Arnhem, southeast of Amsterdam, to allow him to change his birth certificate to show that he is as young as he feels.
According to The Washington Post, Ratelband wants his birth certificate to say he was born on March 11, 1969, rather than on March 11, 1949 when he was actually born.
Judges heard Ratelband's case on Monday and are expected to make a decision on the case in the next several weeks.
Ratelband, who is advocating for his age change similar to arguments made by the transgender movement, agreed to see mental health professionals to assure officials that he wasn't a "victim of the Peter Pan syndrome." He convinced experts that he wasn't deluding himself and insists his request is no different than if he was seeking a petition to change the gender he was assigned at birth.
"Because nowadays, in Europe and in the United States, we are free people," Ratelband told 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 about my mind is that I'm about 40 or 45."
Ratelband, a trainer and life coach who previously worked as a baker, believes that if he is legally recognized to be in his 40s he can, among other things, improve his dating life.
"If you're 69 on Tinder, you're outdated," said the father of seven. He explained that friends have encouraged him to tweak his age online.
"But I don't want to lie," he said. "If you lie, you have to remember everything you say."
Ratelband insists he has the fitness of a man in his 40s, pointing to health highlights such as his low blood pressure, functioning joints, clear eyesight and solid mental health.
"I get it all checked every two years," he said of his health.
He noted these points when he first asked officials at his town hall for the age change but was rejected.
"Are you crazy?" he said officials inquired.
He insists that he is not crazy, but invoking the spirit of America to remake himself into a younger man.
"This is American thinking," he said. "Why can't I change my age if I want to? You have to stretch yourself. If you think you can jump one meter, now I want to jump 20. If you earn 100 grand a month, now I want to earn 120 grand."
He argued that like President Donald Trump and the forces that sent him to the White House, people no longer want to be told what to believe or how to live.
"He is just himself," Ratelband said. "Trump is the first one who is honest. He shows his emotion on Twitter, saying to everyone, 'Shut up.' He's a new kind of person."