Exclusive: TS Madison Talks Becoming the First Black Trans Woman to Produce Her Own Reality TV Show
Gaye Magazine is excited to exclusively share that transgender activist, influencer and social media legend TS Madison Hinton has officially made history for her upcoming reality docuseries "The TS Madison Experience". The series, which'll follow Madison's raw and unfiltered journey to success, is set to premiere tonight - March 4 on We tv.
The show, produced by World of Wonder - ("RuPaul's Drag Race", "Million Dollar Listing" and "Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce"), follows Madison, her mother Miss Mary and her team - which includes her manager Leggra, Che Che - personal assistant, Oliver - videographer and Craig - the showrunner as they navigate Madison's internet superstardom and the success of her hit online show "The Queen's Supreme Court".
As the first Black transgender woman to star in and executive produce her very own reality television show, TS Madison sits down with us to exclusively reveal her strategic intentions behind employing a diverse, LGBT-inclusive team, persevering despite constantly being told 'no' throughout her career and how becoming a beacon of hope for transgender women across the globe manifested in her life.
Ts Madison's loyal fan base, infamously known as the Maddie Mob, has watched the 43-year-old Miami native's journey ever since she broke the internet promoting her adult entertainment career, which later transcended to her producing multiple online shows and vlogs such as her Lipton Tea Hour, the Maddie in the Morning Show, Cracking the Cold Cases, Bish Lets Dish cooking show, Ts Madison After Dark and more.
We begin our conversation with Maddie announcing that we are proud Maddie Mobsters before she rightfully declares being the "Godmother of Gaye Magazine", as for her early support made her one of the first celebrity's to follow and openly support Gaye's brand and mission.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. -Gaye Magazine
What do you say to the person that has been working for years, who may even be your age or younger, and feeling like they should give up on waiting for their breakthrough?
"When you hear things like 'no'... it does dim your spirit...but it makes you go harder. So what I tell people who want to occupy the spaces that I'm occupying now or i have occupied, it's like girl - you gotta keep going. I got no for 10 years! No, no, no, no, no, and then I got a yes.
Here's a Quick Listen to Madison's Full Response to Below:
You shared that you have been working on the TS Madison Experience for years, can you talk about the challenges you faced when first pitching the show?
"I filmed a pilot for the show and this was going on around about the time that Caitlyn [Jenner} had her show. Everything was resting on how well Caitlyn's show did for trans people...I was in the corner fighting saying, 'Bitch I'm not Caitlyn Jenner!'...You can not base transgender shows based off of Caitlyn's stuff.
I remember them scrapping it...and they were like, 'Oh you know we want to structure these things like Caitlyn Jenner's stuff' - I'm like girl, but we're not Caitlyn, we black, we are Black!...You don't know our story, you don't know what happened. And we're not rich as her. So our stories are different. so you can't tell our project no or scrap our project because of what ever goes on with Caitlyn.
Caitlyn's show went on to do two seasons I think it was and I tuned in. I tuned into it because I know a greenlight for a trans person is a greenlight for all of us in the LGBT community. But I also tuned in because we need to get this stuff so that they can make things happen for everybody else. And I say this now because it's important for people to tune into my show."
Listen to Madison further explain below:
It's great to hear that despite being told no for your show, you still supported Caitlyn Jenner because you understood the bigger picture. What do you say to those within the LGBT community who choose not support support their own?
"Every time I hear somebody say oh I'm tired of seeing that person or that on television, girl do you know how hard it was for them to even get in the door?
We are Black, we are queer, we are gay, we are trans! Honey, do you know how difficult that is? I've always lended my voice, I've always lended my star...my presence, to up and coming things because I know how hard it is to get somebody to see what you're doing. I occupied that space so it's always been my duty to do that....So, I always try to do my best as a figure in the community to be more vocal...or speaking into the lives or trying to help because your existence isn't going to take anything from me. The only way that we are going to come up is if we pull each other up."
Madison further shares how people in the community blocked doors for her. Watch below:
You share proudly that you are co-executive producing the show with your long-time friend and reality TV queen Tiffany "New York" Pollard. How important was it for you to be in power over this project and for you to hire a diverse team?
"Filming my television show I was so appreciative of every black and brown person that came through the door, everybody was so respectful, and they were so appreciative that I took that step because from what I was told by them most stars they don't request their own...
It was important for me because I needed to be surrounded by people that understood what was going on, and I needed to be comfortable. It just felt good as a Black person to see other Black people around me that I was able to have employed, especially during the pandemic. Because a lot of people not working...we filmed this whole show during the pandemic."
We are so excited to see that your mother Miss Mary will be joining you on the show. We're curious to know if the topic of religion will be discussed. If churchgoers watch the show, will they be able to learn more about your relationship and how a religious parent overcame the challenges of raising a trans child?
"We need a healing in Black families, we need a healing between parents and trans kids, we need healing between cis Black women and Trans Black women...and my show touches on every aspect of the healing process. And I do feel that there are gonna be a lot of people, whether they want to or not, they are going to learn something and they're also going to have to check themselves. Even I was on the show checking myself about how I have been with my mother through my transition."
"I've been working on this for a decade. I can take you back in time stamps of meetings and flying back and forth to LA. It's been a decade! If don't nobody take nothing from the whole TS Madison experience, because this is an experience, take this. It's about timing and it's about staying the course.
The TS Madison Experience premieres March 4th on We TV and 10 p.m. EST.