Madison Hildebrand: Bravo’s Million Dollar Man

There are two very good reasons not to watch the revamped Million Dollar Listing, Bravo’s latest
real estate reality show, and their names are Chad and Josh. The two Los Angeles real estate
agents are as pompous, egotistical and annoying as anything to come down the
reality highway in quite some time. And that is saying something

However, there is a third agent on the show and watching him
doesn’t leave most viewers despairing over the fate of humanity. His
name is Madison Hildebrand and not only does he come across as decent and
self-aware, he is, if not actually humble, at least not gratingly arrogant. He
also is that rarity on television – an American male who defines himself not as
gay or straight, but bisexual (or as he puts it “polyamorous”).

AfterElton.com recently had the chance to catch up with the
man who is one of the most successful real estate agents in Southern
California.

AfterElton.com: Tell us something about yourself, Madison. Where
are you from? How big is your family? How old were you when you came out?
Madison Hildebrand:
Well, I have lived all over the United States, coast to coast, including a
little bit in the south of Texas
and I have two brothers. I’m the middle child. Currently, my parents live back
in Texas. My
older brother lives here in Malibu
with me, next door to me. And my little brother lives in Arizona. I came out not very long ago at
all. I think it will be two years – holy cow! As of yesterday.

AE: Congratulations. I read that you don’t define yourself
as a gay man, so I wanted to give you a chance to say how you would define your
sexuality.
MH:
On the preview [for Million Dollar Listing], the word I
have chosen to use as far as sexuality goes is polyamorous, and I am really
trying to stay away from being in one particular category one way or the other.
I’m very open. I’m open-minded. I really connect to energies. I still have encounters
with women and I’m interested in dating men and/or a woman. It doesn’t really
matter to me. If the energy feels right and it’s safe and it’s comfortable, I’m
open to that.

AE: Have you dated any men up to this point?
MH:
Yes.

AE: At what age did you start to realize that your sexuality
didn’t fall in line with what most other people experience?
MH:
Well, there’s a lot of other personal parts that play a role in my past in
discovering who I am all together, but also who I am sexually, so that question
is a bit hard for me to answer, but I guess I started to understand that I had
multi-feelings for both sexes in my teens, in my early teens.

AE: What prompted you to decide to come out as “polyamorous”?
I have a friend who is polyamorous who describes it as not having one
relationship with one person at a time, but having relationships with one, two
or more people. Almost like a group relationship. Is that how you define it?
MH:
No. That’s not how I define it. The reason why I don’t
like the word bisexual is because most of the people who define that word have
a derogatory definition that means the relationship is based strictly on sex.
For whatever reason, that’s the mainstream definition or the energy behind the
word. So for me polyamorous is just – yeah, poly is multi and amorous is love,
but I’m not having love relationships with multiple partners at one time. It’s
more being open to multiple situations and different touches and energies and
being able to fall in love with that rather than having multiple relationships.

AE: I personally don’t see anything wrong with either one,
but I just don’t want to put that word out there and then having people coming
up to you and saying, wait a minute – you said this –
MH:
Thank you.

AE: So for other people, maybe bisexual without the negative
connotations might describe you?
MH:
Yeah.

AE: So what prompted you to decide to be out about your
sexuality? Did you feel that you had to come out to your parents or to your
friends and family?
MH:
For me it is being able to wake up every morning and
just be who I was. I was struggling with a lot of other conflicts and I didn’t
know if they were playing a role or not and finally I just realized this is the
last thing I have not accepted and the last thing I have not shared with people
and that has to be what is the dead weight in the morning when I wake up.

Whether you want to call it depression or not, I was never
depressed, but it felt I was getting there because I don’t think I was living
what I was feeling. And that’s a problem.

AE: I went through a period before I came out where I was so
depressed I could hardly get out of bed at times because I knew I wasn’t being
honest about who I was, so I think I understand what you’re talking about.
MH:
That’s unfair to live that way and I owe it to myself
and anyone owes it to themselves to respect themselves enough to just live and
be comfortable in their own skin, because you only live one time and that’s all
there is.

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