Emile Ratelband is a 69 year old man living in the Netherlands.
Well…69 is what his records say. He’s actually 49. At least, he says he’s 49. Ratelband is transaged and identifies as a 49 year old. And he’s taken that to court. Recently, a Dutch court ruled against Ratelband’s claim to legally change his age.
Part of his argument of desiring to be 49 was that it opens up more opportunities. “If I’m 49, then I can buy a new house, drive a different car. I can take up more work,” Ratelband said.
The court argued: “unlike the situation with respect to a change in registered name or gender, there are a variety of rights and duties related to age, such as the right to vote and the duty to attend school. If Mr Ratelband’s request was allowed, those age requirements would become meaningless.”
That’s interesting. It would make age meaningless.
Kind of like what is currently happening with gender in the west.
I think anyone who reads about this, regardless of your beliefs on transgenderism, pretty quickly makes the logical jump between this and that. For opponents of transgenderism, the thinking is “this is equally wrong.” And for proponents, I think the position becomes defensive.
I looked on social media. Many argue: “don’t even think about comparing this to transgenderism,” or treating it like it’s absolutely absurd that the two would be compared to each other.
Serious question: if a person can be a different gender because they believe they were born the wrong gender, how can someone who’s a certain age argue that they’re not actually that age? Or a person who identifies as transracial?
Why is that any more intellectually incongruous?
One is just as much a denial of reality as the other.
But why is it that contemporary society allows it in one area: gender? Why is there a privilege given to transgenderism over transageism or transracilaism?
All of these are attacks on reality. While people being transage or transracial are pretty rare (and therefore easily dismissed), transgenderism has gained traction. But it is still denying that which is an immutable characteristic of a person. A 69 year old is a 69 year old. Thinking he really ought to be 49 doesn’t make it so. But in the same way, man is a man and a woman is a woman. And a man is not a woman and a woman is not a man.
But all of these issues of a person thinking that an immutable quality about themselves can be changed because of their beliefs are equally wrong.
Being transage is just as valid as being transgender, which is to say that being transage is equally as invalid as being transgender. Your age is your age. Your gender is your gender.
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Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.