Oakland, California-based engineer Amy Schneider, a trans woman, continues to set records on “Jeopardy!”
As of Monday, Schneider, a 19-day champion with $745,200 in earnings, is the highest-earning woman in the show’s history. In addition, Schneider, 42, has won a place in the “Jeopardy!” Hall of Fame, and is currently in fourth-highest place for total earnings during regular season play. She is also currently in fifth place for a consecutive number of games won.
“She is amazing,” said Roz Keith, founder and executive director of Stand with Trans, a Michigan-based organization that seeks to empower and support trans youth. “I love that she’s out — that she can be out in such a public forum. She’s authentic, smart and well-spoken. She is [a] wonderful representation for the trans community, and I know so many folks who are rooting for her and excited that she’s on the show.”
Schneider is not naïve about the importance of her appearance — and tremendous winning streak — on the show.
“Anything that can be done to show trans people as just normal people I think is a great thing,” Schneider told Yahoo Entertainment. “We want to get to a point where trans people are less pioneering and like, you know, that the first trans person to do whatever is just kind of like, whatever! Why wouldn’t a trans person do that? Like, they could do anything that anyone else can do, and there’s nothing unusual about it.”
Still, she said that she is simply Amy and hopes she’ll be seen for herself and not just her trans identity. “I was definitely aware, going on the show, that being a trans person in the spotlight could be an interesting thing,” she said. “But, you know, it’s just what I am, and there’s sort of, like, nothing to do about it. It’s just who I am.”
Pride Source previously reported that Schneider had qualified for the “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions after her fifth win. She said at that point that she planned to use some of her earnings to travel with her girlfriend.
“We have been planning to try and travel a bit more, and my winnings so far will at least make that a lot easier,” Schneider said in an op-ed for Newsweek. “I’m planning to visit a friend in Ireland, and I really liked Tokyo, so that’s a place I’d like to go back to again.”