AMY Schneider has bravely opened up about contemplating “suicide” and her largely unknown first marriage while still male.
The 40-time Jeopardy! winner released unflinching experts of her tell-all memoir, which addresses her transition and fight to game show greatness.
Amy Schneider’s first book gets into how she ‘didn’t like boys’ and didn’t want to ‘stay alive’ before transitioningCredit: ABC
The second-biggest Jeopardy! winner also writes about a short-lived first marriage, ‘cross-dressing in private’ with nothing off the boardCredit: instagram/jeopardamy
Amy, 42, shared no-holds-barred takeaways from her new book with the LA Times on Friday.
Her tell-all, In the Form of a Question: The Joys and Rewards of a Curious Life, comes out Tuesday, October 3.
Amy holds the game show’s second-longest streak only behind now-host Ken Jennings (74 wins in 2004).
Amy also made history as the first transgender tournament winner by clinching the $250,000 Tournament of Champions crown in 2022.
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The trans trailblazer, perhaps Jeopardy!’s second-most (if not most) famous contestant, opted for the true definition of a tell-all- as just the excerpts shed light on her incredible journey.
‘STAYING ALIVE DIDN’T SEEM TEMPTING’
Her book reflects on being born a boy in Ohio; she called being in the Boy Scouts a “nightmare experience.”
Amy writes that the Boy Scouts made her realize: “I’m not a boy.”
She found it “disgusting and disturbing” and said she was pressured to watch a boy pull apart a live crawfish with a pocket knife.
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Amy also shared that watching the movie Romeo and Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio made her realize she was not interested in men.
“It didn’t work,” she writes. “I simply didn’t like boys.”
Ahead of her senior year at the University of Dayton, she felt stuck: “While suicide held no appeal for me, staying alive didn’t seem that tempting, either.”
She said the cult animated show Daria helped her persevere.
“If Daria could survive this Sick Sad World, so could I.”
Amy also opened up about meeting her first wife, Kelly, at age 21.
Amy never discussed her first marriage on Jeopardy!.
Amy had never been kissed then and had no sexual experience “aside from spontaneous oral sex from a sex worker when she was 20,” according to the pull quotes from the LA Times.
The couple got married and decided to be polyamorous.
“I think everybody should be poly,” Schneider writes.
“Most people do not agree with that, and that’s okay.”
‘MAYBE I’LL TRY…’
Amy started cross-dressing at home in private, hiding heels and other clothing from her then-wife.
“It seemed clear to me this was not a part of my life she had any interest in sharing.”
Amy’s first marriage ended with Kelly leaving her for someone she was dating outside of marriage (it didn’t last long).
But in 2016, when Kelly left, Amy had a breakthrough.
She journaled that day, as can be read in her book: “Maybe I’ll try being a pirate for a while. Or a writer, or a woman.”
Amy transitioned soon after, ditching her “ugly, ill-fitting boy costume.”
‘LEARNING WAS MY FIRST DRUG’
Amy also stands by trying various drugs, including “cocaine, Vicodin, mushrooms and acid,” and said they helped shape her.
They helped her see what it was like to have “a different brain for a while.”
She writes, “I have used, and continue to use, a wide variety of drugs. I believe that drugs have been good for me. Without them I might not be here today.”
She feels responsible for sharing her perspective since “the lived experience of actual drug users doesn’t get a lot of exposure.”
That said, trivia trumped all.
“Learning was my first drug, my oldest form of self-medicating,” she also writes.
Amy said she’s “addicted to learning,” which helped her overcome her obstacles and become the Jeopardy! great she is today.
She began trying out years before her transition and was worried about her deep voice, the outlet shared, and how it would play out on TV- though she won the nation over.
“I realized that being trans in public carried responsibilities,” she writes. “To hide my voice began to feel like a betrayal to my community.”
AMY STAYS WINNING
The engineering manager living in Oakland, California, is now married to Genevieve Davis, 25.
When Amy won the 2022 TOC, Genevieve rushed the stage to embrace her.
They tied the knot in a small private ceremony on May 9, 2022 at a courthouse in California.
Amy’s $250,000 win and $75,000 from May’s Jeopardy! Masters earned her $1.62million, the fifth-highest total winnings on Jeopardy! ever.
GAME RECOGNIZE GAME
Amy was recently asked on the Inside Jeopardy! podcast if there are any contestants she’d like to face in future tournaments.
Amy shared: “I talked a lot with Hannah Wilson,” who won eight games and $229,801 this May.
“And [I] was so happy to see her [on TV]and we just really connected well.”
“Of all the people I’ve rooted on the most in the past year or two, she’s the one,” Amy shared.
Hannah is the second-most-successful trans contestant next to Amy and will be in the currently postponed 2023 Tournament of Champions.
Hannah’s winning streak scored attention from Amy as it was airing.
“Huge congratulations to Hannah Wilson!!! Welcome to the Guild of Jeopardy Champion Trans Women, one of us will be in contact shortly to explain the secret handshake and so forth,” Schneider wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Amy’s tell-all book comes out October 3Credit: Getty
She’s now happily married to Genevieve Davis, 25, and a Jeopardy! superstarCredit: Twitter/Jeopardamy
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