RuPaul fought to get trans icon Ts Madison on Drag Race: ‘This is my show and I want her’

Drag Race judges on the main stage

Ts Madison has revealed that RuPaul pushed hard to get her on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

The trans icon made her debut as a guest judge in season 13 of the long-running show, appearing in two episodes.

In a new interview with the LGBTQ&A podcast, Ts Madison revealed how RuPaul fought for her spot on the panel.

She said: “RuPaul was like: ‘I want her on my show, I want her in this space, I don’t care whatever pushback that you think you want to give me, this is my show and I want her here,’ and RuPaul got it.”

Ts Madison also praised Ru for taking up “the responsibility of other queer people” to lift up the LGBTQ+ community.

Ts Madison

(Getty Images)

“Whether they’re passable queens or queens who’ve not had a sordid past, it is important when you occupy positions of power in places of power that you reach into your community and you give opportunities to the girls who they will not give those opportunities to, because sometimes you’re missing out on a gem,” Madison said.

Madison also explained that RuPaul was a big fan of her viral Vines. She found early success on the now-defunct app, after which she became the first Black trans woman to have her own reality show. Released this year, the 2021 TV show The Ts Madison Experience saw Madison on her journey towards stardom.

Madison has faced difficulty in Hollywood, particularly due to her open history in sex work, as well as her trans identity, she says.

Though season 13 was the first time Madison appeared on Drag Race, it was not the first time she was featured as queen Silky Nutmeg Ganache impersonated her during the Snatch Game challenge two years earlier.

Ru Paul

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RuPaul has had a shaky history with trans contestants, making controversial comments in 2018 to The Guardian about whether trans women could appear on Drag Race.

She suggested “it changes the whole concept of what we’re doing” when a trans woman performer goes through medical transition.

In an apology for his comments in The Guardian, RuPaul wrote on Twitter: “I understand and regret the hurt I have caused. The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers.”

The show has since featured a litany of trans contestants, including Gottmik, Gia Gunn, Jiggly Caliente and Kylie Sonique Love.