When I first laid eyes on TS Madison in 2016, I wasn’t only captivated by her beauty but by her confidence. In the first video I saw of her she was issuing a quick-witted clapback to those who were in her Facebook messages criticizing her about her opinions shared in her videos. She was gutsy and her candidness kept millions of eyes glued to her page. Fast forward to 2022, and TS Madison is sharing her boldness with the world and making history at the same time.
She became the first trans-person to have her own talk/variety show when Turnt Out With TS Madison premiered on FOX Soul. Since I watched her rise from social media to television, I wondered if she had set out to be a pioneer once she left her post as a CEO of her adult film business Raw Dawgg Entertainment. Surprisingly, making history wasn’t on her to-do list. With her being focused on the grind, she didn’t even realize she was a trailblazer until now.
“I didn’t even think of it like that,” she told MADAMENOIRE about being a pioneer. “Because I’m really out here trying to grind and get what God has for me and do what God wants me to do.”
It’s now setting in that she is an inspiration to the trans-community but being one of the firsts wasn’t something she had her sights set on.
“I don’t really like being the first because… it’s like you’re the prototype. We make all the mistakes and we work out all the kinks and someone else will come along and be considered the alpha and omega. And it’s like wow I really went through a lot for this to happen for [those who will come after me]. And then sometimes you can be forgotten when you’re the first.”
TS Madison is the personification of living out loud. She operates in a judgment-free zone and welcomes all things taboo because she understands that behaviors that are viewed as unsavory, like sex work, do not diminish one’s moral compass. Her unfiltered approach has led to her being deemed an unfit representation of her own community, but it will take more than that to keep her quiet.
“I’m vulgar. I’m very sex positive,” she said. “I’m very open to people doing what they have to do to make things work in their lives.”
This comes from understanding that the LGBTQ+ community faces discrimination that pushes them into spaces they don’t want to be in but must navigate in order to survive. She’s sat at many different tables and gone from being a sex worker, to being in the corporate world and adult film entertainment industry and not all of those industries have been welcoming to the Black trans-community.
“I got pushed out,” she said about her experience in corporate America. “I got bullied. I got fired a few times. I remember me being at work and the people was like, ‘You can’t come in here with that. You’re disturbing the men’. I’m like, so if I have a skirt all the way down to my ankles, honey, what does that have to do with the man being disturbed?… Oh, it’s because you’ve told him that I’m a man. You’ve said that to them. You’ve told these people. Y’all had these sidebar conversations. You’ve incited this.”
Being outcasted served as a catalyst for the Miami native to bring people together through her talk show because outside of gender and sexuality, we aren’t very different. On Turnt Out With TS Madison, she, her guests and co-hosts delved into those necessary and sometimes cringeworthy conversations about relationships, homophobia, mental health, the Black church, transgender equality and much more.
“My goal with this show is to humanize the trans-experience,” she said. “I tried to do that with the TS Madison Experience... I really didn’t want reality TV. I really wanted talk because talk has a broader reach than reality TV. And it brings communities together it brings people from different ethnicities and backgrounds and social circles. It just brings us together. And so my show is bridging the gap. That’s the bridge in between the gap between cis and trans.”
The viewers aren’t the only ones getting a shift in their mindset from these conversations. Madison also found herself reflecting after conversations with guests like Dr. Heavenly, Tamar Braxton, MiMi Faust and Nivea.
“My talk show is therapy for me,” she said. “I get to meet other people and people share their lives with me and share their experiences and we are having in depth conversation…Every time I talked to someone and I interviewed each guest, I always reflect on something that they said to me. I like to dig into what happened to them and what went wrong. And I’m over here taking notes and checking myself.”
Even though she is being crowned queen in the trans-community, she is focused more on her trajectory than titles.
“People see what you’ve accomplished and what you’ve said you want for your life and the dreams that you have. And the public sees it manifest in front of them they see it as Whoa! I see it is I still got more to go.”