Activist Salah Bachir to Combat Book Bans in Florida by Donating Free Copies of His Memoir to Public Libraries

NEW YORK, April 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ – Salah Bachir, esteemed long-time gay activist and author of the memoir First to Leave the Party: My Life with Ordinary People… Who Happen to be Famous, has announced a bold initiative in response to the recent surge in book bans across Florida. In an act of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and in defiance of censorship, Bachir will donate copies of his memoir to any public library in the state, in addition to donating a portion of the proceeds from sales to the LGBT Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. The memoir, which has garnered acclaim for its candid portrayal of Bachir’s life and its pioneering inclusion of the author’s pronouns on the cover, seeks to normalize discussions about gender identity and pronoun sharing. Reflecting on the decision to include his pronouns on the cover—a first in the publishing world—Bachir stated, “The only way to normalize sharing our pronouns is by doing it as often as possible. When we all share our pronouns, it takes a weight off the shoulders of trans and non-binary people.”

According to the American Library Association, Florida has the unfortunate distinction of leading the United States in book bans. In light of recent efforts within that state to ban certain titles from school curriculums and public libraries, Bachir’s donation serves as a powerful statement against censorship and discrimination. By providing access to diverse voices and perspectives, this is a crucial step in counteracting the harmful effects of book bans and in championing the values of tolerance and respect.

“As an immigrant, a gay activist, and a storyteller, I believe in the power of literature to spark conversations and promote understanding,” Bachir commented. “By donating copies of my memoir to Florida’s public libraries, I hope to contribute to a culture of openness and acceptance.”

Bachir’s generous donation comes at a critical time, as Florida faces increased scrutiny for its attempts to restrict access to certain books. By supporting the LGBTQ+ community and standing up to censorship, Bachir demonstrates his unwavering commitment to justice and inclusivity.

For libraries seeking donated copies, please visit

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Joseph Papa; [email protected].

High-res cover art is available here.

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