Who is Rhone Talsma?

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

Rhone Talsma, a librarian from Chicago, defeated 40 day “Jeopardy!” champion Amy Schneider on the episode that aired Jan. 26, 2022.

Talsma works at Chicago Ridge Library as a multimedia librarian and holds a bachelor’s degree in women’s and gender studies from DePaul University in 2015.

He also has a master’s of library and information science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which he earned in 2018.

Talsma is reportedly a Chicago native and maintains both public and private social media accounts.

After his appearance, the internet lit up with people questioning if Talsma is gay (as of Jan. 27, 2022, Google’s autocomplete feature suggests queries of that nature after entering his rather unique name).

While he has yet to officially address is sexuality, a 2021 tweet from his Twitter account (which as had his name removed in place of an emoji as of this writing), refers to “a fellow gay man,” which seems to suggest he identifies as gay.

His various public social media accounts include several references to LGBTQ rights and similar topics, though that wouldn’t be surprising no matter how he identifies given his undergraduate degree in women’s and gender studies.

The “@transitdiagram” account is not verified by Twitter as of this writing, though there are numerous more recent tweets from the same account that recount first person details about Talsma’s “Jeopardy!” appearance went. “@transitdiagram” is also the handle of an Instagram account, also unverified, that is labeled with Talsma’s name.

There’s also screenshots that appear to be from the popular gay dating and messaging app Grindr, though it’s not clear if those were his conversations or someone else’s.

It also appears he has an interest in fashion and makeup, including dressing in ways the blur the lines between traditional gender appearance.

At the end of the day Talsma’s sexuality doesn’t really matter — but if he does identify as a member of the LGBTQ community, it’s interesting because Schneider is openly transgender and discussed her identity openly on the show.

Schneider was not the first openly transgender person to compete on the show, which is known for featuring a diverse cast of contestants.

The show has featured contestants who openly discuss their same sex partners and relationships.