Jeopardy! champ Amy Schneider explains how a Shakespeare play helped her come out as trans
Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider has said that starring in a Shakespeare play led her to come out as trans.
The California-based engineering manager, who made history as the first openly transgender woman to make the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, said starring in A Midsummer Night’s Dream helped her to discover her gender identity.
Writing on Twitter, Schneider said: “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.”
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
Speaking to Newsweek about when she came out as trans, Schneider said: “To an extent, there’s a lot of different answers you could give to when it started.
“You could say it was my whole life, you could say it was this time, it was that time.”
She later explained on Twitter that it was in 2016 when she accepted her transness.
“Now, when I say I realized I was trans in 2016, I’m simplifying a process that in some ways had been going on my whole life, and certainly since 2011 or so, but 2016 was when I finally realized that I was living a lie, and began to let my true self show,” she wrote.
Leading academics who have studied the language of William Shakespeare’s sonnets have now claimed that the legendary playwright was “undeniably bisexual”.
In 2020, more than 400 years after his death, professor Sir Stanley Wells and Dr Paul Edmonson found that 10 of his sonnets were written for women, and 27 were addressed to men, including his famous, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day”.
“The language of sexuality in some of the sonnets, which are definitely addressed to a male subject, leaves us in no doubt that Shakespeare was bisexual,” Edmonson told the Telegraph.
“It’s become fashionable since the mid-1980s to think of Shakespeare as gay. But he was married and had children. Some of the sonnets are addressed to a female and others to a male. To reclaim the term bisexual seems to be quite an original thing to be doing.”
Amy Schneider has taken home the fourth-highest winnings in regular season play, having racked up $536,400 over 13 games. She is now on a break as Jeopardy! launches its first Professors Tournament, and will return in “a couple of weeks”.
On Thanksgiving episode of Jeopardy!, Schneider appeared wearing a trans Pride pin, of which she later explained: “Thanksgiving is a holiday that is all about family. And that can be hard for anybody who has been ostracised 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 colour.
“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.”