You Know Who She Is: Interview with TS Madison
Unless you have been hiding under a rock somewhere, you know who TS Madison is: the voluptuous, natural beauty that came into mainstream media attention somewhere between Vine and Facebook vlogging. Her first fans, though, came from her adult website www.bigdickbitch.com which showcases her and a few friends having some adult fun with some equally as attractive males. Yes, I went there and did my research. I found it interesting.
Anyway, I was actually introduced to TS Madison on Vine doing her "New Weave 22 Inches"video naked. I was so taken aback by this unapologetic, openly trans women who wouldn't normally be clocked until, well... you saw her big dick, bitch. Since then, she has been featured in every magazine possible, online publication, Logo, WETV and the list goes on. I was very intrigued by her story and how she has morphed into this social media maven and activist, so I reached out to her for an interview.
What was the most impressive about Ms. Madison Hinton was the fact that the authenticity you garner from her videos is the same thing she projects one on one. I had to laugh when she answered the phone because she wasn't having the best of days. Still, after a few moments she took a couple deep breaths, did some self- talk and gave it her all. This made the conversation so human and organic to me.
I was mostly interested in how the expansion happened in terms of the TS Madison brand. Let's be clear: to come from the adult entertainment industry to becoming one of the most credible sources for the relatable transgender narrative is incredible, but based on the fact that society wants LGBT people-- especially of color-- to be politically correct, it was far reaching for me. In Madison's opinion, she hasn't done anything different than her white counterparts such as Jenna Jamison, Tracy Lords and Alexis Texas: all people who have crossed over to mainstream media with adult entertainment on their background. "With us as African American individuals, we try to hold this serene, prestigious (reputation) and then get fucked and suck dick behind closed doors, when white people have been doing this stuff forever," says Madison. She speaks of companies like Vivid and Playboy who have given multiple people the platforms to turn from erotica to stardom overnight. With the resilience and confidence you know her to have, she took their route except she decided to own everything associated with publishing, marketing and filming her films.
She doesn't shy away from what's on her resume' and she is unapologetic regarding what she's done and knowing that she brings more to the table than just being an adult film star. "I walk into these meetings and say, 'Hey. I'm TS Madison and I don't know if you know me or not, but I am an adult entertainer that owns her own company called Raw Dawgg Entertainment that has produced and distributed adult entertainment for about 12 to 13 years. I own the rights to everything that I have done and get residuals from that the rest of my life.'"
The issue that she speaks about that I know that we all have in some ways dealt with is the fact that you have to go above and beyond to not be overlooked in society. The fact that she owns her own business doesn't get her respected. The fact that she is in places of empowerment and power doesn't get her respect. What gets her respect is going on no matter how she feels. And people and companies alike still, sometimes, won't give her respect even for that. Madison speaks about these companies who have given people a million dollars to put out a sex tape and take them to A List overnight, but won't work with her because of having adult films on her background.
Still, she didn't expect the celebrity to come to this level. Her intention was to be in the lane she was given and be the best that she can be at it. It surprises her that people that meet her now don't even know she has done adult films. My personal belief is because we have hypersexualized transgenders in general. We want them to be in a box of what genitalia and/ or "work" they have and who they have sex with. Since TS Madison now has a brand that spans the gamut of books, television, wigs and speaking engagements both social, political and in advocacy roles, we are now seeing a relatable transgender women who is speaking from a place of experience, exposure and reality and we are captivated.
When talking to her from the same real place, I wanted to know how do our two different communities (me being a Black, Gay identified individual and her being a Trans identified individual) could be more cohesive. In her opinion, we should be allies but gay men have seemed to make enemies with Trans folk. Some of us, in her opinion, try to fit into a heteronormative and homophobic culture and not want to identify with anything that is feminine or trans. They try to be so masculine in the community and don't want anyone to know, in normal life, that they are gay. She goes on further to say that she believes the issue is that gay boys have separated themselves from their own identity and she believes that it is problematic to Trans folk. As we know, some Trans have phobias of public places based upon them being passable or the fact that every week we are hearing of one of our sisters being killed. As gay men, especially the more masculine privilege you have, we have to be more sympathetic and, at times, empathetic to the plight of our Trans sisters. TS Madison says, "I don't have a problem with them wanting to be a 'man'. I have a problem with them forgetting that they are an African American gay man and are subjected to the same kinds of discrimination as we are. To the straight people, you are either a FAGGET or a DYKE that's it. It's nothing else. You are either a FAGGET or a DYKE."
The end of the interview showed me once again how real this mogul was; she went from saying some unadulterated truth to being extremely vulnerable. We started to talk about her mother, friends and fans and she let out something I thought was captivating. It was interesting to hear from TS Madison how, even with all the people all over the world supporting her and booking her to travel, she still feels like she only has herself sometime. How often do we allow the glamourization and superficiality of knowing someone in our society that we forget that they are human, first? As I close this wonderful conversation I had with the incredibly talented, strategic, business minded woman, I'd like you to start thinking about what you can bring to your community based on or because of your life experience. If we all lived in a space of being humans, how effective would humanity really be? We would be exceptional! You know why I know it's true? Because unless you've been hiding under a rock somewhere, you know who TS Madison is.