Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider has opened up about her struggles with contemplating suicide and her first marriage as she navigated her transition. In her tell-all memoir, titled “In the Form of a Question: The Joys and Rewards of a Curious Life,” Schneider shares intimate details of her journey to game show greatness.
In the book, Schneider reflects on her early life as a boy in Ohio, describing her experience in the Boy Scouts as a “nightmare.” She realized she was not a boy when she found it “disgusting and disturbing” to watch a boy pull apart a live crawfish with a pocket knife. Schneider also reveals that she did not have a romantic interest in men and found boys unappealing.
During her senior year at the University of Dayton, Schneider admits that she felt stuck and that staying alive didn’t seem tempting. However, she found solace in the animated TV show Daria, which inspired her to persevere.
Schneider also discusses her first marriage to Kelly, emphasizing that she never mentioned it on Jeopardy!. The couple decided to be polyamorous, with Schneider stating, “I think everybody should be poly… Most people do not agree with that, and that’s okay.”
The book delves into Schneider’s journey of self-discovery, including her decision to transition and embrace her true identity. She describes the moment when her first wife left her in 2016 as a breakthrough, writing in her journal, “Maybe I’ll try being a pirate for a while. Or a writer, or a woman.” Soon after, Schneider transitioned and left behind her “ugly, ill-fitting boy costume.”
In addition to her personal struggles, Schneider also opens up about her experiences with drugs, including cocaine, Vicodin, mushrooms, and acid. She believes that these substances have been beneficial to her and have helped shape her perspective. Schneider feels a responsibility to share her perspective, as she believes that the lived experience of drug users is often overlooked.
Despite facing obstacles and concerns about her deep voice, Schneider participated in Jeopardy! years before her transition and became a beloved contestant. She emphasizes that learning has always been her first drug, helping her overcome challenges and achieve success on the game show.
Today, Schneider lives in Oakland, California, and is happily married to Genevieve Davis. She made history as the first transgender tournament winner on Jeopardy!, securing the $250,000 Tournament of Champions crown in 2022. Schneider’s impressive win and additional earnings have made her the fifth-highest total winner on the show.
As Schneider continues to inspire and break barriers, she shared that she is most excited to face off against fellow contestant Hannah Wilson in future tournaments. Both Schneider and Wilson have made their mark as successful transgender contestants on Jeopardy!, showcasing the diversity and talent within the game.
“In the Form of a Question: The Joys and Rewards of a Curious Life” will be released on October 3, giving readers a deeper understanding of Schneider’s incredible journey and inspiring resilience.