Schneider, who made history as the first transgender contestant to make Jeopardy!'s Tournament of Champions, writes in Defector that “How are you so smart?” is a question she's been asked all her life -- even moreso with her Jeopardy! run. In answering the question, Schneider writes, "I generally take one of two approaches. One is to attribute my intelligence to factors outside of my control. With this approach, I’ll generally observe that I was born with a brain that, for whatever reason, retains knowledge well. I don’t have a 'photographic' memory or anything like that; God knows I’ve spent enough time hunting my apartment for my phone to disprove that idea. But while many people, upon learning that, for example, 'oviparous' is an adjective meaning 'egg-laying,' will quite sensibly forget it almost immediately, I will probably remember it, and without any particular effort. Another factor, of course, is my privilege. Unlike most people in history, I wasn’t born into grinding poverty, and my parents believed in the value of knowledge as its own reward. Moreover, I am white, and until well into adulthood, was perceived as male. Had that not been the case, my intelligence would have been seen as surprising at best, and threatening at worst, which undoubtedly would have impacted my intellectual development. But it was the case, and I was never discouraged from acquiring knowledge. (Well, almost never; I was strongly discouraged from acquiring any knowledge whatsoever about human sexuality, with … mixed results.) My other general approach is to dispute the premise of the question, that I’m even 'so smart' to begin with. After all, being able to do things like name all the monarchs from the House of Stuart is a pretty narrow definition of 'smart,' don’t you think?"