History-making trans Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider recently shared a heartwarming story about how her role on the game show helped an 83-year-old man become more accepting of trans people.
Schneider told NPR that she does her best to avoid reading any negative comments online, but that the overall response to her Jeopardy! winning streak has been positive.
But one message stood out to Schneider as particularly meaningful.
“So someone wrote on Twitter, somehow, after two to three years of conversation, you being on Jeopardy! every night has taught my dad to be accepting of trans people,” she explained. “You’re the first person he’s used correct pronouns with, an 83-year-old man saying, this isn’t too hard. Thanks for your message of love.”
Schneider said it was “just one of the best things I could hear” and that helping people is “what I want to do most of all.”
On Friday, Schneider won her 33rd game in a row, giving her the third-longest winning streak in the show’s history.
At the end of December, she became the woman to win the most consecutive regular season episodes and the highest-earning woman to ever appear on the show. She is also the first out trans contestant to make it to the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, the fifth person in the show’s history to win a million dollars, and the fourth person to do it in the regular season.
She has also become known for communicating regularly with fans on Twitter, producing threads after each competition dissecting her decisions and answers.
And she has impacted far more than one 83-year-old man. Schneider’s followers have continually expressed what her visibility means to them.
“I’m trans and it’s incredibly rare for us to win,” one user wrote in November, “especially with how there are several laws in place that make it harder for us to exist and prosper. seeing ourselves represented in such a way on public media like this is massive because we’re not used to succeeding.”
In a November editorial for Newsweek, Schneider wrote, “It’s a strange thing to think that I have made history as the first trans person to qualify for the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions. It was inspirational for me to see transgender contestants on the show before I became a contestant and I hope that I am now doing that same thing for all the other trans Jeopardy! fans out there…I hope I have given them the opportunity to see a trans person succeed.”