Trans And Bi Contestants Thrive on ‘Jeopardy!’

Image via CBS Television Distribution

A classic American game show was recently blessed with not only bisexual visibility but trans visibility too!

With Jeopardy having only a few more remaining recorded episodes with host Alex Trebek, before he died of pancreatic cancer, many longtime fans have turned their attention to the show. That presented an opportunity for bisexual and trans visibility.

While the show has had LGBTQ contestants, this factor of the contestants is rarely brought up. Then while Jeopardy has had an openly gay contestant before, the arrival of a bisexual contestant and a transgender contestant was still an extreme delight for LGBTQ fans.

Both Kate Freeman and Cody Lawrence made sure that their sexual and/or gender identities were known by wearing pins on their clothing. Freeman wore a trans pride flag pin on her jacket while Lawrence wore a bisexual pride flag. They both did so with the desire to represent their respective communities.

“I spent a lot of time learning about and reflecting on my gender identity in grad school, coming out as transgender and lesbian a few months before graduating,” Michigan-native Freeman told Michigan news site MLive. “I’m proud to be out and I know representation is important.”

As for California resident Cody Lawrence, he explained on Twitter why he chose to wear the pin. He says it’s because he had a rough time growing up as bisexual, and he wanted to create visibility for the younger bisexual people watching the show.

“I’ve always been bisexual and first became aware of it when I was 10,” he wrote. “It wasn’t until age 26 that I started expressing my truth openly. Everyone should be able to come out on their own terms but #BiErasure made that more difficult for me.”

Later in a blog post on Medium, Lawrence expanded further on his upbringing as a young bisexual man.

“Sometimes I feel gaslighted, like I shouldn’t believe my own sexuality because some of the community-at-large doesn’t respect or acknowledge it,” he wrote. “But then I remember … it’s my truth. You can’t change facts. So yes, I wore my pin on ‘Jeopardy!’ because it’s a powerful symbol to show you that we exist.”

But how did they do on the show? Freeman became a one-day champion by winning her initial episode. She, however, lost on her second run. Lawrence then came third in his episode. But, he enjoyed the entire ride.

Thank you to Kate Freeman and Cody Lawrence. We loved seeing you on national television and creating representation by sharing your stories, wearing pins, and answering tough questions.


Source: MLive, Huffington Post, Medium,

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