Bay Area ‘Jeopardy!’ the champ gives a fiery speech about pride

San Francisco Pride Month came to a joyful climax on Sunday, with the first in-person parade since the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020.

The sidewalks along Market Street were filled with onlookers, cheering floats and dancing in costume. Once inside the celebration area around the Civic Center, the party was a bit more spacious, with long lines for BBQ teriyaki chicken skewers and fried festival food.

On the main stage, located directly across from City Hall, Honey Mahogany and Sister Roma warmed up the crowd and introduced the grand marshals of the community. In the hours leading up to the Weather Girls’ Martha Wash headlining, one of the biggest draws on stage was undoubtedly Bay Area resident Amy Schneider, whose historic streak as “Jeopardy!” champion captivated the country.

While wearing a sundress and Converse sneakers that drew compliments from Sister Roma, Schneider gave an impassioned speech about the long arc of the LGBTQ community’s fight against prejudice. She pushed back against criticism that Pride had become too corporate and had lost its roots as a protest movement.

“They feel that we are in danger of losing the spirit of resistance and revolution that characterized those first marches,” Schneider said. “That we became complacent and corporate, and used that harmless, safe, apolitical ‘pride’ word to get along with a society that had at least given us a place, even as this discrimination, suffering and hatred that inspired those first marches has by no means disappeared.

“Pride is not safe, it’s not harmless, it’s a political statement. It’s a statement to a society that still hates us, that we won’t be silenced,” Schneider said under the cheers of the crowd.

She went on to condemn recent anti-trans legislation, which she spoke out against recently at the White House on Trans Visibility Day. She noted that in her travels since appearing on the show, she’s seen minds change.

“I can’t tell you how many people have told me about people in their lives whose perspective on trans people has changed – permanently changed – nothing more than seeing a trans person on TV , proud of her identity,” Schneider said.

She ended the five-minute speech by noting the gap between prejudiced leaders who are driven by “an irrational hatred that cannot be reasoned with” and people who blindly follow those leaders.

“They don’t want to have the discomfort of acknowledging that what they’ve been taught about homosexuality is wrong,” she said. “It’s not shameful, and what their parents, religious leaders and communities told them is just plain wrong. Because if they were wrong about that, what else could they have been wrong about. ?”

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