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Celebrating Canada's 2SLGBTQI+ Communities

IN Community: Cooking With Trans People Of Colour

The 519 publishes a new cookbook by and for trans folk…

By Jumol Royes

There’s a popular saying that goes: “Cooking with love provides food for the soul.”

Cooking with Trans People of Colour is a new cookbook launched by the Trans People of Colour (TPOC) Project at The 519 that hopes to bring these words to life.

The 62-page cookbook, containing recipes compiled by and for racialized trans people, is described as “a true labour of love” and “a cornucopia of meaningful recipes lovingly created by TPOC members and the project team.”

“Food is very much something that’s very dear to us,” said TPOC project coordinator Yasmeen Persad in an interview with the Toronto Star. “It’s where we see a lot of our lives reflected. To create food that reflected people’s identities is very important.”

The community cookbook features recipes for delicious dishes like Singapore noodles, empanadas and primavera beef with plantains and black beans – all accompanied by beautiful images – as well as information about cooking ingredients and nutrients, tips for saving money at the grocery store, an overview of hormones and healthy eating, and resources and a glossary of sexual health terms for trans folks.

TPOC is a three-year project at The 519 that serves as a lifeline to BIPOC 2Spirit, trans and non-binary people through activities like drop-in meetings and home-cooked meals. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the TPOC team has continued to support The 519’s essential services by providing friendly check-ins to racialized trans folks in the community.

The recently published Cooking with Trans People of Colour cookbook aims to help people stay connected through food.

“The book shines a light on trans people of colour who have been experiencing marginalization and systemic oppression, but we also want people to see us in a positive way,” added Persad. “Above all it’s about love, hope and resilience.”

A digital copy of the cookbook can be downloaded through the TPOC website (donations are encouraged); hard copies can be purchased at Toronto’s Glad Day Bookshop (499 Church Street).

Watch a video with peers from the Cooking with Trans People of Colour cookbook below:

JUMOL ROYES is a Toronto-area storyteller, communications strategist and glass-half-full kinda guy. He writes about compassion, community, identity and belonging. His guilty pleasure is watching the Real Housewives. Follow him on Twitter @Jumol and on Instagram @jumolroyes.

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