Amy Schneider Becomes First Trans Tournament of Champions 'Jeopardy!' Contestant

Tuesday November 30, 2021

Amy Schneider continued her "Jeopardy!" winning streak on Monday with her sixth straight victory in a commanding win. So far Schneider has qualified for the Tournament of Champions, making her the first trans contestant to do so.

"Once I got to episodes three and four, I knew the fifth one was in sight," Schneider said in an interview on Oakland's ABC 7 News. "Once I got it, it was a great feeling, mostly because I was having fun and I didn't want to stop. By qualifying for the fifth one, I knew I would come back."

The Oakland-based engineering manager told ABC 7 News that she has been a "Jeopardy!" fan all her life. "My parents always had it on growing up," she said. "There was never an extended period of time where I didn't watch it."

But it took her three attempts to secure a slot as a contestant. "I did the interview three times, and the third one finally worked," she said.

Schneider, Pink News reports, first appeared on the show on November 17 when she defeated a five-time champion named Andrew. Coincidentally, it occurred during Trans Awareness Week. So far Schneider has earned more than $300,000 in winnings to date.

Her impressive streak has led her to be called a "trans icon" on Twitter.

Another pointed out how she seemed unbeatable.

Twitter user @joshtigerhill wrote of the larger implications of her victory.

"Maybe the only thing that is more amazing than Amy Schneider's @jeopardy gameplay, is the heartfelt message that she and the show have for all of us! I am so proud and honored and grateful to be part of a trivia family that unequivocally says #TransRights."

For her part Schneider is quick to point out that she is not the first trans contestant on the show, which was erroneously reported when she first won. "Schneider has been very clear, throughout her streak so far, that she's not the first transgender contestant or champ on "Jeopardy!" In fact, Kate Freeman became the first openly transgender champ quite recently on the show, back in 2020," UPROXX said.

She also made a strong statement on last Thursday's episode by wearing a Trans awareness pin. "So, obviously the thing I hinted at yesterday was the trans flag pin I wore in today's episode (not going to spoil anything else about the episode yet), so I wanted to explain a bit about why I chose to wear it," she wrote in the post.

"I am from Ohio where the only trans people I thought of were drag queens or prostitutes," she told ABC 7 News. "Seeing other trans women in a good spotlight inspired me to not be afraid of trying to compete in the thing I have always loved."

She added, though, that she didn't want to be defined by her trans identity. "I didn't want to make too much about being trans, at least in the context of the show. I am a trans woman, and I'm proud of that fact, but I'm a lot of other things, too!" she tweeted.

"I am so incredibly grateful," she said. "Hopefully I can send a positive message to the nerdy trans girl who wants to be on the show too."