Teenage Boy Self-Identifies As Elderly Woman: Receives Retirement Benefits
A biological boy in rural Delaware has played an instrumental role in the development of a landmark legal precedent. 16-year-old Timontez Fredericks has won a major victory for those that self-identify as something other than what is printed on their birth certificate.
The legal battle began on Frederick’s fifteenth birthday, when his mother told him to apply for a work permit. “I just thought he was old enough to start pulling his weight a little bit. He has to start bringing something to the table. But I had no idea, how he really felt on the inside,” his mother Shakwanda Gonzalez told reports yesterday in a brief press conference outside of the Philadelphia federal courthouse.
Fredericks refused to seek any sort of work, as he feels himself to be a 78 year old woman named Gretchen. This puts him well into the range of Social Security retirement benefit eligibility. Now going by the name of Gretchen Fredericks, he proceeded to the local Social Security office to apply for his benefits. “My mom said I had to start making some money, but I don’t want to work!” he told reporters upon filing suit last year. “It’s just not fair for me to have to have a job to make a living. I am 78 years old on the inside, after all. I deserve the same benefits my grandma receives.” Upon initially being denied benefits by office employees, Fredericks and his mother enlisted the help of local lawyer Gary Greenman, who took the case on pro bono.
“There is a ton of legal precedent to back up our claim. We were not asking for anything crazy here. Similar legal victories won by transgender plaintiffs paved the way for this landmark decision. All of our nation’s elderly deserve some type of assistance, it is completely prejudicial to refuse my client based off of what may be written on some piece of paper, or how his lifestyle may be viewed as offensive to some,” said Greenman, as he celebrated victory with his client. “This is a huge day for all people, no matter what it is they identify as. We as a country have come a long way, but there is still so much ground to cover, as the need for this case at all clearly illustrates.”
This decision has already begun fueling pundits’ speculation that we will now begin to see a steady stream of similar cases brought to court, as others that identify as members of certain classes or groups strive to achieve the recognition and rights they believe they are entitled to. One such case has already been brought before a Chicago federal court; that of Bill Hanson, a Cairo, Illinois man who is suing the US Army for refusing him the veteran benefits he feels he is entitled to. Hanson self-identifies as a Korean War veteran, a war that’s last battle occurred more than twenty-five years before his birth. It is expected that the precedent established by Fredericks vs. Social Security Administration will greatly influence the Chicago court’s decision.
For now however, the self-identification communities rejoice and Fredericks rests on his laurels. When asked what he intends to do for the rest of the summer, he had this to say: “Well since I got out of having to work, I don’t have much going on. I’d like to move into one of those nice nursing homes I see all the time. My Medicaid benefits should cover it, and I heard that they have bingo. But, for now, I’m just going to enjoy the summer; skateboard, play baseball, hang out with my girlfriend, normal stuff.” Fredericks walked away from the courthouse wearing a white haired wig, leaning on a metal walker for balance. His mother held his arm and smiled.