Our project takes on the awesome work of expanding our already awesome event. First, let me tell you about the event – then I’ll explain the project. The Trans Power Soup Social started from a fairly simple place: when I was early in my transition, I went looking for community. I knew scarce few people like me, and longed for a place where I felt like I could truly belong. While there are some vibrant, thriving queer events in our city, the weekly trans community groups I found were lacking. They felt institutional and bureaucratic. The main group I found was segregated by age and partially run by cis people. While those running the program – including the cis staff! – were warm, kind, and generous, it felt the opposite of grassroots. It seemed like a good place to connect with a few friends, but not a space in which we might build lasting, generative community. I wanted to try to build something by and for trans people, and welcoming of all generations. Real community requires the presence of both our elders and our children. Real community is not just a social club, but a place to be safe and become strong.
I had the idea that if I were to make a vat of soup in High Park every week, play a little music, and spread the word, people would come. They have. In August 2022, on our first Sunday – the day we make soup – there were five of us. Last Sunday, there were 30. Some attendees were local; others travelled from Scarborough, Brampton, and Hamilton. There were children; there were elders. We are building a space in which we can be safe and become strong.
The project of Growing the Trans Power Soup Social aims to reinforce our group’s position and help us spread the word throughout the broader trans and non-binary community. While our operating budget is funded through community donations, the Awesome Foundation grant will enable us to invest in a few larger expenditures that will help us as we continue to grow.
Funded by Toronto, ON (June 2023)