Book of the Month: April
Our biggest pride is our diverse collection of amazing and authentic books – from all over the globe! To highlight these amazing individuals, who help build a greater understanding in their communities, we are publishing a book portrait each month. The monthly portraits are to offer an insight into the diversity of our books, their motivation for being on the bookshelf – and each Book of the Month should be read as representative of all of our outstanding books and their courageous contribution to their community and the Human Library.
Gay and Christian in Romania
April’s Book of the Month is 30 year old, Victor Ciobotaru from Romania. Victor joined our bookshelf 2 years ago and has been published with two different topics: Gay and Christian. Victor became a book shortly after coming out as a gay person.
In Victors experience there is a lot of prejudices about the LGBTQ+ community in Romania and all of which are based on old and negative stereotypes. This is doing great harm to the Romanian society, and this motivated him to join the Human Library in Bucharest.
“I believe that a positive evolution of mentality is possible only through authentic knowledge about people around us. I want to be part of the change in my country, so I accepted the challenge to become a book in Human Library.”
Over the last two years, Victor has been published around ten times and every event was different and had a very diverse set of readers, including public authorities, police officers, high school students, art consumers, human rights activists, moviegoers, and people from the corporate environment. The most common questions from readers have been about the process of coming out and his family’s reaction. But also, a huge amount of speculation about current lifestyle – as both a gay person and a Christian.
“Readers curiosity is manifested on how I managed to reconcile Christian spirituality with my sexual orientation. Of course, a lot of them want to know what it is like to be part of a same sex family in Romania, since there is no legal recognition yet for same sex couples.”
Victor acknowledge that mentalities are changing slowly, but there is still a lot of work to do – and affirms that “being an open book is a lifetime job”.
He points out, that for the books at the Human Library, it is also a very giving experience. recognizes that he has received as much knowledge and understanding, through the interaction and dialogue with his readers, as his readers do.
“It doesn`t matter which part of the Human Library you are, every time it is an amazing experience which implies reciprocal vulnerability that has the power to transforms us. I can say I am a richer person because I have shared my story with every fellow I have been interacting with and because in return I have also received their thoughts, questions and concerns.”
The most valuable aspect of the Human Library concept, is its ability to create a safe and frank context for different people to come together in an honest interaction.
A simple message
Victor has a simple message to readers all over the world, about understanding and diversity:
“The message I share is as simple as it can be. We are all different and the diversity makes life beautiful and worth living. Regardless of our sexual orientation, we are equals and human beings. Most of the traumas people next to us pass through would not exist if we could learn to be more tolerant and accepting. LGBT people are not abstract concepts but our friends, our relatives, colleagues or neighbors. The decision to be ourselves and to assume our identity, brings freedom and a chance to develop authentic relationships.”
To get a chance to take Victor for a read. Follow the Human Library Romania on FB via ART Fusion. To learn more about Victor, and his life as a gay Christian, go to his facebook page https://www.facebook.com/crestiniprolgbtromania and make sure to follow the Human Library Organization facebook page, to stay updated on upcoming events – where you can meet your own local bestsellers!