Building on nearly a decade’s worth of experience as an actress and media personality, Ts Madison made history in 2021 as the first Black trans woman to star in and executive produce her own reality series with the groundbreaking We TV series The Ts Madison Experience. She followed that up with appearances in a number of high-profile projects including RuPaul’s Drag Race, Bros, and Beyoncé’s record-breaking Renaissance.
But as Madison’s footprint in the world of entertainment continues to leave its mark, her commitment remains with the people and communities she represents.
“We fight so hard to be quote-unquote ‘mainstream’ and to be superstars to people who sometimes don’t care anything about us,” Madison says. “It feels so good to get to be a superstar in my own world and care about the people who look up to me. Being an example for these people [sic] of how to live in your true authenticity—how to be liberated from the norms of everything and live freely.”
Her latest project is “Ts Madison Ate That,” a comedic streaming series that will see Madison taste-testing some of the “weirdest snacks from all over the internet.” Then, after trying each item, Madison will decide whether she likes it (“she ATE”) or not (“she HATE”). The series hails from Drag Race producers World of Wonder and will stream on WOW Presents Plus. Watch the trailer for the series here.
It feels so good to get to be a superstar in my own world and care about the people who look up to me.Ts Madison
Madison sat down with the Center’s Oliver DelGado to discuss her decade-long relationship with World of Wonder, her commitment to LGBTQ+ activism, and more.
So Miss Maddie, we have not seen each other since April 22, when you fabulously hosted our Center Gala; what a night that was.
Oh, it was an amazing night. Listen, I can’t wait to do it again. Just call me. It was such an amazing event. I learned so much about the Center and the humanitarian work that you do. I was so honored to be even a part of that. Anything that does good for my community, I always want to be a part of it.
You’ve been busy this summer. You have some exciting things coming up, but tell me what life’s been like.
Life’s been very busy. I’ve been up and down. I’ve been filming a lot of TV stuff, but that’s just one of the things. Also, I got to be at the Renaissance concert. The Queen invited me to come down when she was in Atlanta, and they gave me the VIP treatment. The Queen spotted me. She was like, “Ts Madison in the house! I love you.” That meant a lot of things to me. It was crazy. It was amazing. One of the down things that happened this year was this whole debacle about cis and trans people. I got wrapped up in that whirlwind of stuff … But what I said in my initial statement was that transphobia and homophobia affect cis people just as much as it does trans people and gay people. It affects us all.
You’re absolutely right. And what’s most alarming is that it’s not just in places like Florida; it’s not just the South. Now we’re seeing it across the country, and we have to show up and show out in a way that we haven’t before. In California, there are already ballot measures targeting trans kids, and it’s beyond dangerous. It is literally coming for people’s lives.
And they’re using these tactics as a weapon. They’re fear-mongering—they’re pandering to people to sway voters in a direction that will be very detrimental to those people who are not paying attention.
They’re fear-mongering—they’re pandering to people to sway voters in a direction that will be very detrimental to those people who are not paying attention.Ts Madison
That’s why we’re so thankful that we can count on champions like you to get out the good word and do the good work so that it motivates more people to get involved.
Tell me about Ts Madison Ate That. What does that mean to you? And what can we expect out of this new project with World of Wonder?
Ate That is definitely a play on words. It’s a play on words that we use in our community. You know, giving reverence to something or bringing joy and excitement to the things that people do. And we used it to refer to eating tasty foods. WOW Presents Plus came to me with the idea because I got a package in the mail from a company that makes vegan eggs, and they saw me posting about that. So they reached out and said, “Maddie, we have the perfect idea for you.” I was able to bring my makeup artist and my engineer Mo—you know, he’s straight—so we can see their personalities, and we got to sit down and eat things from all over the place. We definitely try to do things in a space where we aren’t tearing down businesses or tearing down brands, but we have to be honest.
This is you as a consumer tasting the goods.
We’ve got to be honest! If the goods need to be tasted, honey, does she eat or does she hate?
I have to tell you, it’s funny because my reactions are real. I didn’t know anything about any of these products before we started eating them. And my whole personality is about truth. It’s about living your truth, being in your truth, being true to who you are—even down to what you eat. I’m going to tell the truth. I think the people at home are going to find themselves falling out laughing in stitches on each episode. Hopefully they give me another season of it. My dream would be to actually go into places and try things.
You mentioned you got to work with members of your team on this project. Did you get the sense that you’re able to work with family t? And what does that mean to you?
Listen, World of Wonder is effortlessly and tirelessly working around the clock to make sure that Ts Madison is always somewhere in the mix doing something because they know that my presence is necessary here. They’re always trying to find mainstream places to keep me visible—even though I do that just by existing. But they’re my family, and they have been for over a decade now. They are actually the creators of the Ts Madison Experience. Without World of Wonder, I wouldn’t be the first Black trans woman to executive produce and star in my own reality TV series. They’ve been on this journey of breaking ceilings, and they’re always behind me. Like with RuPaul’s Drag Race, they haven’t had a judge shakeup in years, but they said, “Hey, Madison, we want you. The fans want you,” and it’s been great. They’re my family like this.
It’s tea time– what can you tell us about the new season of Bring Back My Girls?
I have to say that I have enjoyed doing all of this stuff with Drag Race, judging the show, and having the opportunity to host Bring Back My Girls. Season 1 was amazing, and Season 2 is gonna be insane. I get to see queens—people who look like me—blossom into being staples in the community and pioneers for change in our community. I get to see these girls come in and then watch their careers take off, watch how they impact the world as queer and trans-identified people. It’s just an amazing thing. I get emotional thinking about how important these girls make me feel, because they come into that show, and they have great guest judges—Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, Lizzo, and like, all these super superstars of the world. But when they hear that Ts Madison is on [the judges panel], they’re like “Oh my God, we love her!” And then doing Bring Back My Girls, they’re like, “Your videos got me through. You made me laugh, you’ve encouraged me, your humor has helped me so much.” Sometimes it becomes an overwhelming space where I’m like, Madison, you know that you’re important. But you really are important to who you need to be important to, and that is your community.
I love that you get to experience that. And then you get to do it with family, you get to have fun, you get to pay the bills. But most importantly, you get to live life authentically. And help other people step out and live their lives.
We fight so hard to be quote-unquote “mainstream” and to be superstars to people who sometimes don’t care anything about us. It feels so good to get to be a superstar in my own world and care about the people who look up to me. Being an example for these people of how to live in your true authenticity—how to be liberated from the norms of everything and live freely.
Okay, lightning round. Ate that or hate that: anti-trans bills.
She hate that.
Beyonce’s Renaissance World Tour.
Maddie’s life right now.
Ah, she’s enjoying that.
Ts Madison Ate That is now available to stream on WOW Presents Plus.