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Arlo’s story: A journey to belonging

Arlo always felt different from his peers but didn’t understand why until his teenage years when he learned more about gender diversity.

Middle school was tough, filled with bullying and confusion over his gender identity and sexuality. A bright spot was his grandmother, Judith Meinert, a pioneering queer and trans rights advocate in Saint John and a founding member of the local PFLAG chapter.

In early 2022, Arlo’s grandmother passed away suddenly. At her wake, he met staff from Chroma, who had admired her work and they offered him continual support. By then, Arlo had begun to embrace his transgender identity but was unaware of the range of Chroma’s programming.

As he got to know team members at Chroma, a new United Way funded partner, they invited him to be the co-grand marshal of the 2022 Saint John Pride parade in honour of his grandmother.

This marked a turning point for Arlo. He began attending Chroma’s Rainbow Connections and other programs they offered. He quickly realized how important its work was to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

He also began to form deeper connections with the organization. However, he still faced anti-trans hate and insensitive curiosity at his previous workplaces.


When a job opportunity at Chroma arose, Arlo was thrilled.

“Chroma provides a safe workplace where I feel encouraged and supported, and I never have to worry about anti-trans discrimination from my coworkers,” he says.

Through his involvement with Chroma, Arlo has become better equipped to support and advocate for others.

It felt as if his grandmother had passed along a gift through the meeting with Chroma during his grief. Her strength had become his own, and now he was ready to pass it on to others through his work with Chroma.