With winnings totaling $1,019,600, Ohio-native Amy Schneider is currently on a 28-game winning streak on the long-running, syndicated quiz show “Jeopardy!”.
On Friday, she became the 4th contestant to ever pass the $1 million mark, and the first female to achieve the feat. She currently stands as the fourth all-time champion in regular-season play and has qualified for the Tournament of Champions.
And she has taken that buzzer by storm all while being her authentic self for an estimated 8.7 million viewers per episode to see.
Schneider, a 42-year-old out trans woman, grew up in Dayton. She attended Chaminade-Julienne High School, later graduating from the University of Dayton before relocating to California to work as an engineering manager.
She has spoken publicly about her past struggles as a trans woman in the Buckeye State, but has expressed hope in being an inspiration to the “nerdy trans girl who wants to be on the show too.”
“I am from Ohio where the only trans people I thought of were drag queens or prostitutes,” she told ABC 7. “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.”
In honor of Schneider’s groundbreaking run, we gathered 5 of our favorite tweets in which she is using her voice to bring much-needed visibility to the LGBTQ+ community.
1. A Magic Flute
Schneider shared with Newsweek that she credits June 30, 2017 as the date she started openly living as her true self. She later tweeted about a pivotal life moment she experienced during a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that inspired her coming out.
Fun fact about my Shakespeare experience: the trigger that eventually resulted in my coming out was playing Flute in Midsummer. There's a play-within-a-play at the end, and Flute is forced to play a woman, and dressing up as a woman every night felt shockingly right to me.
— Amy Schneider (@Jeopardamy) December 4, 2021
2. A Flag For All to See
On the Thanksgiving Day show, Schneider wore a pin of the trans flag to send a message of support to trans individuals who have been ostracized by their families.
Thank you for your thoughtful message, Amy. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Xj02Jd8Nkm
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 26, 2021
She later tweeted why it was important for her to send this message particularly on Thanksgiving, encouraging fans to donate to LGBTQ+ related organizations supporting trans individuals.
…a group which, sadly, still includes a disproportionately high number of trans people, especially trans youth and trans people of color. So, it felt like a good time to show my membership in, and support of, a community that might be having a hard time right now.
— Amy Schneider (@Jeopardamy) November 26, 2021
3. The Great and Powerful Ozma
Although copyright laws prevent her from displaying it on the air, Schneider has shared that her tattoo on her left arm of Ozma of Oz has special LGBTQ+ meaning.
Eventually, the enchantment is lifted, and she is revealed to be the beautiful princess she always was. So it seemed like the perfect image to commemorate my transition!
— Amy Schneider (@Jeopardamy) December 10, 2021
4. A Political Stance
Schneider has shown that she is not unafraid to use her platform for advocacy. When Representative Tim Ryan, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senator representing Ohio, tweeted his congratulations to Schneider, she used that opportunity to bring attention to the high political stakes for trans Ohioans in next year’s election.
Thanks! To any followers in Ohio, next year remember that, no matter who the Republican candidate is, one of their goals in office will be to make life harder for me personally. Don’t give them the chance! https://t.co/gYSGY1KeIa
— Amy Schneider (@Jeopardamy) December 2, 2021
5. Honoring the Past
Although Schneider is the first out trans woman to qualify for the Tournament of Champions, she is quick to point out that she is not the first trans contestant on “Jeopardy!”, nor even the first trans winner.
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 returns to the podium this evening with millions watching to see if she continues her winning ways. 🔥