“Jeopardy!” champion Amy Schneider is making history as the first trans woman to qualify for the show’s Tournament of Champions.
Schneider, an engineering manager from Oakland, California, won her 11th contest this week. Though Schneider is not the first trans champion the show has had, she is the first to qualify for the elusive Tournament of Champions, the annual competition featuring the players with the most wins from the past season.
The majority of Schneider’s victories have been runaway games, according to “Jeopardy!,” meaning that her earnings have been more than double the score of the contestant in second place when going into Final Jeopardy.
Schneider wore a transgender flag pin during the Thanksgiving episode in solidarity with transgender people who may be ostracized from their families. Later, she wrote about her decision to wear the pin on Twitter.
“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 wrote.
“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 continued. “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!”
Schneider has been competing on the show since November 17 and has won more than $400,000.