What is the number? The Dutch, 69, sought a change in age to 49
UTRECHT, Netherlands (AP) – Emile Ratelband's fake positivity teacher considers age to be a number. And that is the number desired by the Dutch to change.
The 69-year-old TV personality has asked a court in the Netherlands to approve his request for a new birthday which will officially make him 49.
Ratelband said the legal appeal was consistent with other forms of personal transformation that received government acceptance and recognition in the Netherlands and throughout the world.
"With this free (dom) choice, name choice, gender freedom, I want to have my own age. I want to control myself, "he said on Thursday.
Ratelband said he wanted to avoid age discrimination in society – especially on dating sites.
"So when I ask for a mortgage, for example, they say it's impossible," he told The Associated Press. "If I go to Tinder, then I get a woman from 68, 69 when a woman is there."
What about being economical with the truth about his age?
"I don't want to lie," he said. "I want to be myself, so don't force me to lie."
Marjolein van den Brink, who specializes in human rights and gender issues at Utrecht University law school, said age discrimination is a problem but is different from the issues involved in gender reassignment.
"It is very clear that parents have a much smaller chance of getting a job than younger people," he said. "But that's only one element and that's just something that happens to you after you reach the age of 40, 45, 50, depending a little on your job.
"Even though gender is something that follows you from birth to death, and that determines almost everything – and not only in the labor market but everywhere," he said.
In rare cases, even race also becomes more fluid.
In England, theater director Anthony Ekundayo Lennon has attracted some attention because even though he is the son of a white Irish old man, he looks like a mixed man. He also wrote and told reporters that he considered himself black.
He said he experienced racial abuse in adolescence because of his appearance, and when he began his acting career, he felt it was easier to pursue parts that were not white. He also took an African middle name.
Now some black artists complain that Lennon was recently given paid training in a program designed to give more black people the opportunity for careers in the arts.
The case is similar in some ways to Rachel Dolezal, a white woman in the United States who identified herself as a black person after being raised by religious parents who had adopted four black children. He worked for the NAACP when his deception was revealed in 2015.
Ratelband, a Dutch TV personality, said the Dutch government could benefit from receiving requests for his age. He said that he would be happy to lose his pension of around 1,200 euros ($ 1,370) – a concession he expects to save nearly 300,000 euros ($ 343,000) over the 20 years he wants to shave his age.
A court in the central city of Arnhem is expected to issue a decision in about four weeks.
Ratelband, who earns a living urges people and businesses to be positive, denying that the demand for age is a publicity action. He claimed he was looking for positive personal effects.
"Now I'm old. I have to save my money to give to my children so they can live, "said the father of seven. "But if I have that age again, I have hope again. I am new again. The whole future is for me again. "
Bonds between donkeys, emu can make adoption difficult
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina animal shelter says the close bond between donkeys and emus, which can hardly be separated, can make adoption difficult.
The Charlotte Observer reported male donkeys and emu women were rescued from Kershaw, South Carolina when the owner suddenly disappeared last week. Jennifer Gordon from the non-profit Carolina Waterfowl Rescue near Charlotte said the owner also left other animals.
He said the shelters, which have not named animals, tried to separate them. But the donkey cried and emu panicked.
He said the donkey didn't even like other donkeys in the shelter. He said both hugs and sleeping together. He said they could not be separated, so someone needed to adopt both animals and "that might not be easy."