On Friday, Amy Schneider became the first woman to win $1 million on Jeopardy!
Schneider, who is transgender, is one of only four contestants to break the million-dollar barrier during regular-season winnings. She is also the quiz show's highest-earning female contestant.
In an interview with the AP, Schneider, who grew up in Ohio and currently lives in California with her girlfriend, talked about the need for transgender people to speak out.
Schneider said that she doesn't want her social media "to be a place where people are arguing about politics all the time. But at the same time, I can't ignore the fact that there's people out there threatening my brothers and sisters in the trans community. Here I have a chance to say something about it, and I can't be completely silent. I don't necessarily want to be super-activist about it and constantly banging that drum. But I can't be silent either, when I know that there's so many people in danger of real hurt and harm from political policies."
Schneider said that she has in the past publicly urged voters in Ohio not to vote for Republican candidates.
"I grew up in a Republican household and a Catholic environment, and many people I love are conservative in various ways," she said. "I know them, and I know they're not intentionally out there doing harm and that they have reasons for the positions that they hold."
"So I want to engage people from [across] the spectrum where that's possible. But it has to be in a condition where my right to exist is granted, otherwise we can't talk," she said.
Schneider, an engineering manager, is the first transgender person to qualify for the tournament of champions. She will compete again on Monday.