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Be Authentically YOU

Oh, hey! Welcome back. This is our third and final Pride Month interview– but remember when we said pride isn’t a month long thing, it’s a life long thing? Yeah. We mean it. We’ll be bringing you more LGBTQ+ content each and every month.

Okay, so this week’s interview is a very special one. It’s us, Rabbittown! We’re going to pull some random questions to ask each other and then we’ll wrap it up with a Pride specific convo.

Stef: Hey, I’m Stef Loukes. And this is Casserole. One part her name. One part delicious meal.

Cass: Haha. I’m Cassidy Hilworth.

Stef: Alright. Let’s do this thing - first question. *shuffle* Describe Cass to a stranger.

Yeah, okay… Cass is smart, social, and does really well under pressure. Which is all key. I could take Cass into a room full of nuns or celebrities or whoever and she’d be like, “Okay cool” and she’ll always come out on top. And she’s got that team sport mentality where we’re always picking each other up as individuals and as a unit. Actually, we gotta tame the sport thing a bit cause we were doing a CBC interview and she was moving and talking like she’s in a hockey game – “Yeah. So, we just gotta get out there and sell.”

Cass: I’m dying! Haha

Stef: And you always say you’re dying. LOL

Cass: Okay. My turn. *shuffle, shuffle* What is Stef’s biggest strength? She’s probably one of the most – and I’m going to use this word because Michelle (from Dragon's Den!) used it – she’s one of the most electric people I’ve ever met. It’s the energy she puts out. It’s almost like manifesting. With the energy she puts out into the world, you know that good things are going to happen or continue to happen. Stef: Awe, Cass. *shuffle* Tell us something quirky about Cass.

Oh, yep. It’s the food thing. This one time I had to hunt down fast food for her because she has to eat every 2 hours like clockwork or she’s cranky! It’s totally the food thing. We’ll be doing something and I pick up on the cues and I’m like, “We gotta go - It’s Cass - her blood sugar is dropping.” Cass: I’m dying. Haha. I have a quirky thing for you. So I feel like the most quirky thing about you, is your dog! Your dog is an extension of you and Coco is so weird. Haha. Stef: I always say, Coconut is me in dog form.

Cass: Legit. And you even look the same.

Stef: Totally. We look the same and we are the same. Therapeutic, awesome, runs like a gazelle. See… *proceeds to do a lap of the yard running in a gazelle-like manner*

Cass: OMG. Haha.

Alright, let’s talk about Pride. I want to know what Pride means to you.

Stef: Being authentically yourself. I was officially gay to the world in 1999. I’m a geriatric lesbian– like a geriatric millennial, ya know? I was in high school and I was outed by some people I worked with and it wasn’t my time. It wasn’t my choice. It just happened – which is fine because I was kinda like “sweet” because I didn’t have to tell anyone. But I got bullied and teased. I would see my friends and it would usually end in me standing up for them and for myself. Because I had such a supporting home, I knew that how they were treating us was not

ok. I knew it wasn’t right and so I stood up against it. So, being authentically yourself and also living your life according to your values. I used to work at Boom! and the beautiful creatures that would come through that door – everyone was welcome – it didn’t matter. Everyone. And I try to live my life like that too, passing that value onto my children. Everyone is welcome.

What about you?

Cass: That was really good. For me, it means finally being in a place in my life where I can be more open. I never really felt like I could be completely me when I lived in Alberta. I’m proud of who I am

now and I’m okay with it being posted and out in the world without thinking, like – “Oh, gawd what’s someone going to say?” I feel like I’m making much more of an impact by being proud of who I am.

Stef: Yeah, and when you’re coaching – you’re making a huge difference for those kids just by showing up and being authentically you. Good for you Cass.

Cass: Thanks Stef!

Do you have a favourite Pride memory? Stef: OMG are you ready for it?! First ever Fredericton Pride. I think it was 2010. And ps. First Fredericton Pride was in 2010, so that’s an issue. But the mayor said it wasn’t big enough to support shutting down Queen Street – which like, stop it – that’s the perfect alignment. It’s literally called Queen Street. So, they gave us the walking trail. Yep. The walking trail. Fast forward two or three years later and I got to be on Fredericton’s first float. Waving that Pride flag driving the other way down Queen all like, fuck you Brad Woodside – we got our street!

Cass: Yes! Mine was in 2019 when we went to World Pride in NYC and it was incredible. It was wild and the parade was really cool. I think it literally lasted the entire day from 10 in the morning to 10 at night and people were literally walking for that long – it was wild. But like, you’d watch a bit of it and then go to the bar and stuff. It really was incredible.

Stef: Alright Cass. This is it. We’re each going to pass down one nugget of wisdom to the LGBTQ+ youngsters.

What’s your nugget?

Cass: It’s okay to be yourself. Like, you’re going to have support from somewhere and you’ll literally always have someone in your corner if you let them be. It’s going to be okay. Just be yourself and like Stef said – authentically you. You’ll feel better and you’ll be better.

Stef: Yes! Mine’s… you’re doing great, sweetie. Lovingly yours: parent, parent-like figure, supportive ally, pal, chosen family member. You’re doing great, sweetie.

Cass: Love it.

Stef: Wanna hear a joke? What did zero say to 8? Hey, I like your belt. Cass: OMG. Haha. I’m dying. I hope this recorded.

It most definitely was, Cass.

Thanks for hanging out with us this past month while we celebrated local LGBTQ+ business owners and don’t forget to keep an eye out for the many ways we’ll be celebrating Pride each and every month. All year long. You’re doing great, sweetie!

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