Celebrity

Jeopardy! champ Amy Schneider gives impromptu White House press briefing

Maggie Baska April 1, 2022
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Jeopardy champion Amy Schneider wears a pink blazer and black outfit underneath as she visits the White House

Jeopardy champion Amy Schneider visits the James Brady Room at the White House on 31 March 2022. (Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty)

Trailblazing Jeopardy! icon Amy Schneider has slammed the wave of “frightening” bills that threaten the lives of trans youth while visiting the White House on Transgender Day of Visibility.

Schneider shot to fame earlier this year on Jeopardy!, breaking record after record and beaming positive trans representation into American homes across the country.

She was invited to the White House for Trans Day of Visibility (31 March), which she used as an opportunity to speak out against the hundreds of bills impacting the lives of trans Americans, which she described as “really scary”. 

“Some of them in particular that are denying medical services to trans youth – those are life-saving medical treatments, and these bills will cause the deaths of children,” Schneider said, speaking to journalists in the press briefing room. “And that’s really sad to me and really frightening.”

 

Amy Schneider said she hoped her visit to the White House would help more Americans learn about the trans community and see that trans people are just normal people – not “monstrous” or “threatening”. 

“The more that people like me can be seen, the harder it is to sustain the myths that are kind of driving a lot of this hate and fear,” she said. 

The Jeopardy! champ also offered some words of encouragement to young LGBT+ people affected by the bills across the US.

She said that the “backlash right now is temporary” and that there are plenty of people fighting on their side.

“I think that the country overall is on our side and getting more so every day, and I think it’s not going to be too long before these sorts of bills are seen as a thing of the past and no longer what we want to be as a country.”

Schneider briefly opened up about her time at the White House on Twitter. She said she wasn’t aware that she “would be asked questions” by reporters, but she “just can’t help but perform” when “put on a stage”. 

Amy Schneider also met with second gentleman Douglas Emhoff and Dr Rachel Levine, the assistant health secretary and first openly trans federal official confirmed by the Senate.

Levine shared on Twitter that the meeting was to discuss “issues facing the trans community”

The Biden administration announced several actions to help the trans community on Trans Day of Visibility, including the announcement that Americans will be able to apply for a gender-neutral X marker on passports from 11 April. 

The State Department announced last year that X gender markers would be available and that trans Americans would be able to self-declare their gender on passport applications, even if their identified gender differed on other identity documents. 

US secretary of state Antony Blinken also promised that the X gender marker would become available for “other forms of documentation next year”. 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it would also roll out new gender-neutral screening processes. 

This comes after several trans people and families of trans youth have called for changes to TSA policies, which they say can be invasive and humiliating.

The agency said it is working to develop a new advanced imaging technology (AIT) that would both enhance security and provide a gender-neutral screening process. 

The TSA said the current gender-based AIT system resulted in customers being required to “undergo additional screening” like invasive pat-downs and other searches “due to alarms in sensitive areas”. 

Amy Schneider has the second-longest consecutive winning streak and is the highest-earning woman in Jeopardy! history. She’s also the most successful trans contestant on the quiz show to date, qualifying for the Tournament of Champions

After leaving the show, Schneider has kept busy with not only loads of public events but also getting engaged to her partner

More: Amy Schneider, Jeopardy!

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