The Human Library “Book of the Month” is a unique series of portraits of our different book collections from around the world. We created this series to emphasize the diversity in the topics we offer at the Human Library, and to give insights into our books personal experiences with volunteering for our organization.
If you haven’t already met her, prepare yourself to be amazed. Our “Book of the Month” from our September publication is the stunning 61 year old, Poppy Rose.
Alongside a dedicated every day life to campaign against inequality, being a poet, actor and a model, Poppy has been a bestseller at the Human Library for about 10 years. When asked about her reasons to become a book in the first place and why she is still active, Poppy stresses that she still haven’t won the battle against social bigotry and hate.
Ninety-nine percent of hate is fueled by the unknown.
For Poppy, the most important reason to be a part of the Human Library, book or a reader, is because of its unique way of creating a deeper understanding between people: “Only by opening your life up in the way Human Library does, you can expect to educate and change people’s attitudes to something that is ingrained in us all.”
To her, it is really true that if people continue to avoid conversation with the unknown, the hate among us will still continue:
“Hate is a self-fulfilling prophecy, because the less you know, the more you do not understand, and ninety-nine percent of hate is fueled by the unknown, which in turn widens the gap between two people and narrows down the chances of dialogue.”
To the Human Library, this perfectly put statement not only highlights the importance of our organization’s responsibility to continue to create space for conversation between our books and readers around the world, it surely also emphasizes how important it is that all of us in general start to open up for discourse.
As a transgender book, Poppy favorites Human Library experiences with readers, who devote themselves to the conversation and bring their own personal story, because it gives a more special and mutual experience, rather than a storytelling about Poppy and her life. When asked about most frequently asked questions from readers, Poppy answered the following: “It used to be ‘have you still got a penis’ and ‘how old was I when I first knew I wanted to be a women”, however these questions seems somewhat daft to her, and she also explains that today every book conversation is different.
To make a difference in someone’s life.
One of Poppy’s most remarkable Human Library experiences is from a few years back at a Human Library event in Birmingham together with three other fellow volunteers:
“There was an elderly lady with us, who was a book too. Meeting me and getting to know me, she told Nick and Oz afterwards once they had dropped me back off at home, and were taking her home, that the experience had completely changed her outlook on life. This is something that both Nick and Oz would often say was for them one of the best outcomes of their time in the Human Library.”
Another memorable experience is from Manchester, where Poppy met a reader who told her that she changed his life: “Another time was in Manchester, when I spoke to a guy (woman) who was on the verge of committing suicide because of Gender dysphoria. He /she told me, that our chance meeting had changed his life, and in his words saved him/her.
With a decade of honest and personal conversations, the fascinating thing about Poppy Rose is that when I asked her about the most important message/advice to her readers, she just answered that she is no different from them:
“Beneath my skin, I am the same as you.”
If you want to know more about Poppy Rose and her whereabouts you can either follow her personal Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheFabulousAdventuresOfPoppyRos or her YouTube-channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvc8nD99Cx4PUfwpNKaYHfQ