Amy Schneider, a transgender woman from Oakland, California, has just become the new Jeopardy! champion — and by a landslide, too. The engineering manager earned the title (and a whopping $31, 600 in winnings) on November 17, putting an end to five-time champion Andrew He’s winning streak. Ultimately, Schneider secured her big win when she was the sole contestant to correctly answer the final Jeopardy! question (“A cemetery on this island has the graves of Robert Fulton and 2 of the first 4 treasury secretaries,” “Manhattan”), demolishing the lead He had on her going into the final round.
While already exciting in and of itself, Schneider’s triumph also comes during the show’s annual Trans Awareness Week, giving even more cause to rejoice — especially considering public controversies with Netflix, Dave Chapelle, and J.K Rowling weighing heavy on the community However, in the midst of celebrating her achievement on Twitter, the champion took a moment to remind people she is neither the first openly transgender contestant nor champion to play Jeopardy!. Schneider was quick to thank the “handful” of transgender contestants that came before her for “blazing the trail,” before also acknowledging the success of former champion Kate Freeman, who won the competition December 16, 2020 and subsequently became the first openly trans person to win the game.
“FYI, I am not the first out trans person to appear on Jeopardy (a few friends have asked),” she wrote. “There have been a handful before, including one, Kate Freeman, who was the first out trans champion on 12/16/20. My thanks to all of them for blazing the trail!”
FYI, I am not the first out trans person to appear on Jeopardy (a few friends have asked). There have been a handful before, including one, Kate Freeman, who was the first out trans champion on 12/16/20. My thanks to all of them for blazing the trail!
— Amy Schneider (@Jeopardamy) November 18, 2021
Schneider will continue her run on Jeopardy! tonight, at 4 PM PT on ABC.