Current “Jeopardy!” champion Amy Schneider is using her voice to help other transgender people.
The engineering manager from Oakland, California, won her 10th consecutive game Tuesday night, earning her a total of $380,200, the eighth-highest total in regular season play. She has now become the first transgender contestant to qualify for the Tournament of Champions.
Schneider also wore a transgender Pride flag pin on last week’s Thanksgiving Day episode to raise awareness.
“I didn’t want to make too much about being trans, at least in the context of the show,” she wrote in a Twitter thread last week. “I am a trans woman, and I’m proud of that fact, but I’m a lot of other things, too!”
“The fact is, I don’t actually think about being trans all that often, and so when appearing on national television, I wanted to represent that part of my identity accurately: as important, but also relatively minor," she added. "But I also didn’t want it to seem as if it was some kind of shameful secret. While it’s gratifying to know that people didn’t necessarily know I was trans until they read about it, I do want people to know that aspect of me. I think being trans is really cool!”
She also said the Thanksgiving holiday marked the "right time" to wear the trans Pride pin, as the "community might be having a hard time right now."
“Thanksgiving is a holiday that is all about family. And that can be hard for anybody who has been ostracized or otherwise cut off from their family ... a group which, sadly, still includes a disproportionately high number of trans people, especially trans youth and trans people of color."
She also encouraged people to donate to causes that help the LGBTQ community.
“It’s just so surprising,” Amy told Jeopardy.com about her run on the show. “You know, I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t think I could do good. But this has just been so much better than what I thought I would do.”