Amy Schneider Heads to Jeopardy’s Tournament of Champions

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Amy Schneider has made history as the first-ever transgender Jeopardy! contestant to qualify for the show’s Tournament of Champions. 

Schneider first qualified for a spot in the tournament last week after an impressive five wins and has since doubled her streak — continuing to make history as the first transgender contestant to stay in the competition for this long.

Schneider earned her 10th win on Tuesday’s edition of Jeopardy!, where received more than $300,000 in prize winnings:

While speaking with San Francisco station ABC7 on the impressive run, Schneider opened up about the importance of on-screen representation and her desire to influence “nerdy little trans kid[s].”

“I am from Ohio where the only trans people I thought of were drag queens or prostitutes,” she said. “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.”

Schneider went on to share that she began watching the show at a young age because her parents were fans, adding, “My mom was a college professor so was always very interested in learning, and she really instilled that in me.”

The contestant was also influenced to join Jeopardy! by trans comedian Natasha Muse, whom she became a fan of when she moved to San Francisco.

“Growing up in the Midwest in a conservative family, I had gotten kind of a distorted idea of what it meant to be trans, and so seeing her being smart and funny and cool and just a normal person with a normal life and kids and everything like that just showed me that it was something that I could possibly be, and that really made a difference for me,” she explained.

“Seeing trans people anywhere in society that you haven’t seen them before is so valuable for the kids right now that are seeing it,” she continued. “I’m so grateful that I am giving some nerdy little trans kid somewhere the realization that this is something that they could do too.”

Watch above, via ABC.

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