Ts Madison On Her New WOW Presents Plus Show, Trans Pride & The Drag Race Effect

Photo via Ts Madison, Instagram.

Ts Madison is a “Renaissance Woman” in absolutely every sense of the word.

From being a semi-permanent judge on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” to her two shows on WOW Presents Plus (Ts Madison Ate That & Bring Back My Girls, returning for a third season), Madison has a packed schedule. As an added bonus, Madison found herself sampled on the Beyoncé summer anthem “Cozy”, bringing Madison an entirely new legion of fans. I caught up with Ts Madison to chat about both of her WOW Presents Plus shows, her unending advocacy, and how “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has changed the lives of so many performers, as well as her own.

Michael Cook: Ts Madison Ate That is the name of your WOW Presents Plus show, but also could be summary on your career.

Ts Madison: Ts Madison Ate That is most definitely that! I’m Ts Madison so there are so many things that I do on the internet that become a trend or a saying. There are things that I have not explored. I am the type of girl that gives her unadulterated opinion, no matter how it may come out sometimes.

I have had the opportunity to be given this show by World of Wonder on WOW Presents Plus, and it’s fun; it’s me eating. I’m a big girl, and I love to eat and my opinion is a little differ than other people’s. If it’s really nasty, I’m going to break down how nasty it is, I’m going to break down the elements. If it's good, I am going to break down the elements of how good it is.

That’s with everything but food is really a passion of mine. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but over the years, I’ve gained weight (laughs) so food is definitely a passion of mine. I am so glad that the producers over at World of Wonder gave me this show on WOW Presents Plus because it’s something that I like to do. I ate that-and I did!

MC: What kind of food do you think you gravitated towards the most?

TsM: I gravitated towards foods that are highest in their sugars, very unhealthy, that have the taste, the lingering taste honey ... that is going to satisfy me throughout the day (laughs)!

MC: Is there anything that you ate that you didn’t think you’d like that you really ended up enjoying?

TsM: I’m really a pickles girl, I like tart pickles, sweet pickles, I love pickles. There was one of those pickles that I truly enjoyed. I really couldn’t decide on the Jonas Brothers popcorn. I was eating it and it was supposed to have this flavor in your mouth that is supposed to be this “thing” and I didn’t taste the thing, but I really tasted the thing! There was a thing that I was supposed to taste, and I didn’t and I just kept eating it. I was like, “Wait, is this the thing I’m supposed to be tasting”? It was supposed to a “hate” but by the end of the episode it ended up being an “Ate”!

MC: If I come to your house for dinner, what are you making me? Keep in mind, I am terrible in the kitchen.

TsM: I live in Atlanta, so you’re definitely going to get some Southern food. You’re going to get some macaroni and cheese, real macaroni and cheese. Not the healthy macaroni and cheese that you make with the healthy noodles, I mean real macaroni and cheese. Some collared greens with the ham hock in it, some Black Eyed Peas, some fried chicken, fried chicken that’s fried in the Crisco that keeps the flavor. You’re getting some pork chops, some corn bread, you’re getting some potato salad, you’re getting it all. When you leave there, you’re going to be at least fifteen pounds heavier than when you came in. We are eating down!

MC: What has it been like for you to sit on the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” panel as a semi-permanent judge?

TsM: I want to tell you this and I want to tell you this from my heart. I love RuPaul like the rest of the girls do, but I love RuPaul in a different space because I see me; me and RuPaul are the same. Our journeys are on a different path, but on the same path. What makes me feel so good sitting there is being a 46-year-old transgender woman who has lived in this world, I get the opportunity to see of so many different talents, so many different girls and I get to see different personalities, different queer, non-binary, transgender and all identifying people become superstars. It is such an amazing thing that 30 years ago when I was 15 years old sitting there watching how the world turns and I didn’t see many queer superstars and I’m getting the opportunity to see that happen right in front of my face, judge them and tell them how magnificent they are. It is one of the most amazing feelings that you can have as a queer trans person growing up, to see how the world is changing. To see how important one show is to launching so many great queer people into the world.

MC: To see a trans woman of color sitting on the judges' panel on the most powerful reality show completion show in herstory, the representation is truly real. There are kids all over the world seeing you sitting there and seeing themselves.

TsM: Yes and I love it all. I love to see these queer kids launch into the world and become stars, we didn’t have that 30 or 40 years ago. We didn’t have that to see. These girls go out into the world and they become stars. They have fans, it's crazy, it's amazing and I am so happy to be a part of that.

MC: When you’re hosting Bring Back My Girls, the fans reaction to the girls, as well as your own, are both very palpable.

TsM: They are loved. It makes my heart filled with joy. I am 46. I am headed towards my 50s. I am looking at how the world has so many queer stars now, stars! Back in the day, we could count on our hand when it was this one or that one. Now it is countless amounts of stars being birthed from the mother on Drag Race. These girls go on to be fashion icons and music icons and entertainers extraordinaire packing out places around the world with people. Gay, straight, and in between are coming out to see then. They are able to live lives where they don’t have to be sex workers-and there is nothing wrong with being a sex worker-but they don’t have to be if they don’t want to be; I was forced into being that. It’s over whelming, its an overwhelming feeling every time. Thank you, “RuPaul’s Drag Race”.

MC: This past summer you stood up to transphobia in an extraordinary way. Was there ever a hesitation for you to speak up?

TsM: There is never a hesitation for me to speak up-never. The world is evolving in a way that you can’t get away with being homophobic or transphobic. People want to revert back or stay in those times and they want to hide behind their homophobia and transphobia by saying that they are being so policed what they can and cannot say and it's just not right anymore. It’s not that it's not right anymore, it's that you have to have accountability to the things that you’ve said and the actions that you’ve done to us as gay and trans people. You had us in the shadows, you’ve only used as pocketbooks, we were only your makeup artists and hairstylists.

Now we’re in the rooms making decisions openly, we’re openly being executives, business owners and keeping control of our destiny's and our futures and you can’t say what you want anymore. You can’t be nasty, hate or hide behind the rhetoric of your beliefs and say “God says this or that”; you can’t do that anymore. You’re going to respect us, we’re going to be in the spaces we deserve to be in. People don’t want the label “homophobic” or “transphobic” and walk around with those badges on them because now it is becoming where you may lose your job and your livelihood is at stake, They don’t want to walk around thinking how they are going to feed their kids. Now, how does it feel? How were we going to feed our kids and pay our bills when you were using your homophobia and transphobia as a weapon. Now you know how it feels to be held accountable for the things you’ve done and said. I am always going to vocally stand up for it and stand up for us always.

MC: What was it like being part of the anthem “Cozy” when Beyoncé sampled you on that now legendary track.

TsM: It was amazing because it was a very big surprise to me. Beyoncé is arguably one of the biggest entertainers in the world, everyone pauses for Beyoncé to come in. For Beyoncé to be a fan of Ts Madison is crazy. I’m not going to tell you when or how I met her, but I’ll tell you I met her at work, it was this situation with “Cozy”.

For her to love on me the way that she did and tell me thank you for the inspiration that she did behind this song and the entire album and just to see her doing little things … I’ve been seeing her do the little titty bounce and I’ll say to myself, “She knows she got that from me.” I will look at her as the biggest star in the world, she has her vices and I am one of her happy vices. I am one of the naughty things she gets to do and that she takes inspiration from. I love her, she is amazing. To be on a song that is about all of us being queer and having different areas on the flag … When she sung about each color on the flag on that song and about wearing scars, so much of our community has walked through with scars and had to come out on the other side beat up and bruised, yet we are comfortable with every scar we received to make it to the place that we are now.

MC: What do you tell the people who still don’t think the fight in them and don’t know how to fight back in their own lives?

TsM: I am going to always tell them that if you sit silent things don’t happen; but when you speak loud you can move a mountain. If you want that mountain to move, then you gotta speak to it because it ain’t gonna move without it. You gotta speak up for whats right, speak up for yourself and never ever let anyone try to silence you, ever.

Follow Ts Madison on Instagram @tsmadison.


Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


Corrections: editorial@outsfl.com

2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



Got a juicy lead or story idea? Let us know!



Out South Florida

Hello from OutSFL! We hope you'll consider donating to us. Starting a business can be a scary prospect, but with your support so far, we've had tremendous success. Thank you!

donate button