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Meet Scottie Jeanette Madden of Zuzubean Press in The Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Scottie Jeanette Madden.

Scottie Jeanette, born Scott James, didn’t make it easy on herself. Like many late-stage trans women, Scottie had made one helluva guy. Everything in her life screamed “Alpha Male.” With over 30 years in television production, no one knew that Scottie, a top survival television showrunner who had lead über-male productions into the world’s most dangerous spots, was engaged in a lifelong battle for her soul.

Scottie rose through the ranks of production and brings a front line experience to her work as a writer, director, and showrunner. She put ALL this, plus a marriage of 26 years, on the line when she wrote “Getting Back To Me” from girl to boy to woman in just fifty years. She left behind “white male privilege” to embrace truth, grace, and womanhood. Her gut-wrenching journey of love, acceptance, and honesty is all captured in her book. It’s the ultimate survival show as Scottie dismantles the walls of a self-imposed prison, charting the way back from denial to acceptance, from fear to courage to be herself.

Scottie has created and written children’s television (Pug & Zero’s Field Trip) Feature Film (“the kiss”) gameshows, (“Do you trust me?””Duel,””On the Cover,” and “Last to Survive”) primetime (“Blood of Queens,” The Other Woman,” “Out of the Wild,” “Dude, You’re Screwed”) and award-winning screenplays. ​.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Smooth… that implies “paved” – which this path is definitely not. Nor is the path for women in general, for that matter. I’ve been accused by a dear friend and mentor who got me into reality TV in the first place as not even knowing what a paved road looks like.

But… the truth is, the way of the heart is actually easy to follow through the way may not be simple to tread. My heart leads me to Marcy. My heart leads me to courage and faith that tho’ the world throws everything it has (including biology, pfft) to make its case, the heart is never and was never wrong. But that doesn’t stop the obstacles.

With over 35 years in the TV business – the weirdest obstacle was studios and networks prejudices against transgender people. – It’s subtle – I had three years of interviews for the showrunner spot where they had my resume in my hand – but we talked only about “how brave I was to be me,” rather than how well I run their show.

Then I would hear that they loved me and it wasn’t them, but that they were worried that my crews would have an issue following me…” The other obstacle was Marcy’s cancer and eventual passing away… now I’m rebuilding my life and once again relying on faith in myself and the universe, God doesn’t make mistakes, but She doesn’t always make Her reasons known until She does…

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Zuzubean Press – what should we know?
Our business uses media to raise consciousness to create a safer, more loving world for transgender people and their families. We support people going through similar circumstances and help educate the broader public by sharing our personal story.

My second book will be published this summer, Marcy’s book is doing well, and we have a television series based on my first book that is in negotiations now. I speak frequently to corporations and Universities (and have an upcoming TEDx talk in May). A large part of our work is the personal interaction with our readers who have nowhere else to turn for an ear or a shoulder.

What I’m most proud of are the letters we get from our international readers who have found our books and make their way to our website. We have long-standing relationships with couples who find that Marcy’s book and my work help them see both sides of their own stories.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
We have a strong circle of mentors and advisors that we call the “mastermind council” we convene this amazing group of people when we need to bounce ideas or look at our direction and work with hyperfocus. Are we being effective? What else can we do to support our mission?

The most profound influence is our dearest mentor and inspiration Dr. Shakti Butler, and her profound work with her World Trust. Her approach to creating change in how we see race relations and fostering true healing is outstanding. Another dear friend, colleague, and mentor is Dr. Mark Katz, his work with the aids epidemic here in LA and his current work with “Transculturation” of Kaiser Permanente has also infused our work with his positive-common sense approach.

We have several great supporters and coaches along the way, like Robin Siegle, an associate professor at USC who helped us bring our work to the social worker and academic, therapeutic communities all the way up to the state level. And of course, we are constantly inspired by those we engage with, as we do our work at seminars and workshops, meeting others who are hungry to hear and learn from our stories to bring whatever we might have back to their work and many times their own families. Their questions, concerns, and issues infuse our work and make it grow.


  • Books – 12.95 on Amazon

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
M.Sharkey, Marcy Madden, Mimi Fuenzalida, Dr. Shakti Butler, Kerry Kehoe, Lara Weatherly, Tomav, Scottie Jeanette, Kelly Dole

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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