This article originally appeared on doingbird Magazine.
Photo: Max Doyle
You can learn a lot about a person from their favourite television show. Madeleine Madden’s is RuPaul’s Drag Race—a ridiculous, beautiful, important, and fucking hilarious mess of a show. “A lot of people on that show have experienced extreme trauma and are turning that into art, and turning themselves into art,” Madden says. “That’s something that I love to see, and hope to do as well.”
Whether she knows it or not, Madden has been doing this for years. The healing power of storytelling is the invisible driving force behind her acting and her activism. At the typically awkward age of 13, when the biggest challenge facing most kids is figuring out which flavour of Impulse body spray represents their personality best, Madden asked the entire Nation to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Her message was broadcast on free to air television by GenerationOne as part of a campaign to achieve parity for Indigenous Australians.