Jail is scary enough as it is. But for The Fosters‘ Aaron, the prospect of landing behind bars takes on an added layer of terror as a transgender man.
During next Tuesday’s episode (Freeform, 8/7c), that scary possibility becomes a reality for Aaron after he is arrested while intervening in an ICE raid. In TVLine’s exclusive sneak peek, Stef informs the young man that he’s being booked, which means he will be strip-searched and transferred to central jail. While she can’t tell him what to do, Stef urges a fearful Aaron to disclose that he’s transgender. But even if he does so, his safety is not guaranteed.
In tackling the powerful storyline, “we thought it was an important opportunity to bring to light how dangerous and traumatizing police interactions and prison can be for transgender or gender non-conforming people,” executive producer Joanna Johnson tells TVLine. “They are more vulnerable to abuse and sexual assault, and very few jails and prisons have systems and procedures in place to protect these people and ensure their safety.”
“And when arrested, there is always the fear of whether to disclose that you’re transgender for fear of suffering discrimination or retribution by police officers who might not be sensitive nor educated on how to handle and process a transgender person,” Johnson continues. “Many transgender prisoners are placed in solitary confinement for months or years because there is no humane system in place for how to protect them without completely isolating them.”
Press PLAY above to watch the video, then hit the comments with your thoughts on Aaron’s frightening ordeal.