Meet Upstander Regent Empress XXXI Madison Ciccione Mansfield

This illustrious member of the Imperial Court of New York shares why standing out is a great way to stand up to bullying.

Upstander Madison Mansfield
Many people may not familiar with the many things that the Imperial Court of New York does. Can you share a bit about it? 
The Imperial Court of New York is an organization that works alongside other charity organizations to bring attention to their causes and to raise much needed funds. Our membership is solely comprised of volunteers and everything we can and will do if for the betterment of our community.

The Imperial Court of New York recognizes the important work that the Tyler Clementi Foundation does in bullying prevention for students across all identities and abilities. How is the foundation’s work resonant to you?
At this time in America, it is vital to have an organization such as the Tyler Clementi Foundation. It appears that hate and bullying have become acceptable again. We as a nation need to do everything we can to teach people it is not okay to hate or to bully. We need to accept one another and teach compassion not hate.

Have you ever been bullied or felt like you were in a hostile space directed at you? If so, could you share what happened?
Yes, most definitely.  During my high school years, I became very shy and quiet. I understood that I was different and was coming to terms with the fact that I was gay.  On the bus ride home every day from school, I was called names, ridiculed and things were thrown at me on the bus and on my way home once I left the bus. No one stopped it or said anything to prevent this from happening to me. In my junior year, I finally had enough, and while I was walking home with items flying past my head, I stopped and turned around and said to the bully who has been doing this for years, “Would it help you if I stood still? Because you haven’t been able to hit my in all these years. So, maybe if I stood still, you could actually hit me.” Once I did this and stood up to the bully, he never again did anything to bother me. 
What do you think is the scariest thing about being bullied?
The scariest thing about being bullied is that you never know what someone is going through in their own head. Many people fight with overcoming their own personal demons, and sometimes, all is takes is one outside act of bullying or shaming to send someone over the edge. The results of this can be catastrophic.

tcf-social-upstander-madison-mansfield-tileHow should the community respond when we hear stories about someone being bullied?
The community as a whole should never allow bullying of any kind.  No one should be made to feel inferior, and none of us are any better that anyone else. We need to learn to accept one another and live in a peaceful manner, not one of hate and bullying.

Our #StandUpStandOut initiative is encouraging people to take the popular, free #Day1 toolkit to their communities, schools and workplaces in order to ensure commitment to bullying prevention through the declaration and pledge. How important is it to you that the community organizations you support and your workplace make a commitment to stand up against bullying, harassment and humiliation?
It is very important to me. I do not stand for bullying of any kind. I have been known for many years to be the person who will stand up for the underdog. Whether I like or believe in a person’s own personal beliefs or way of life, I truly believe in their right to be who they are. We must not judge one another. We must accept and understand each other.

Why is it important that people Stand Out to support bullying prevention?
It’s very important because we cannot be silent. Silence only breeds contempt and hate.  Standing up and letting your voice be heard is the only way progress can be made.

In your performances, your talents certainly stand out. What would you say to a young person who feels like they stand out because of who they are and might feel isolated because of it?
I actually have a friend who felt they were not being accepted because they like to dress & act provocative. I told them that they need to be true to themselves and to be authentic. If they felt they were not being accepted by those around them and that the were unable to change the minds of those around them, they should find a group that will accept them for who and what they are.

What can people expect to see at the Nobles’ Show this year? What are you excited about?
 What people should expect it a lot of fun, glamour, acceptance and love! The Nobles Show is when our “newer” members get to strut their stuff and show what they have to give. It is a way for the community to get to know them, and also, it’s a way for ICNY to get to know them better. Out of all the shows the ICNY puts on throughout the year, it’s The Nobles Show that highlights what were all about: Charity, Acceptance and Love for our community.

Regent Empress XXXI (31) Madison Ciccione Mansfield is the East Coast First Lady to the Americas, Grand Daughter to Queen Mother Nicole the Great, Queen Mother of the Americas, 2017 International Double Eagle Award Recipient – The Curvy Long Island Temptress of Serenity, Sincerity and Seduction, Her Imperial Majesty and so much more. Follow Madison on Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about the Imperial Court of New York through Facebook and Twitter.

The views or experiences expressed are solely those of the contributor or interview subject and do not represent the views of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, its staff or board. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the material, please contact the Tyler Clementi Foundation, and we appreciate your support and commitment to end bullying starting on #Day1.