Comedian Dave Chapelle has been facing enormous backlash from some members of the LGBTQ+ community after his last Netflix comedy special that talked about his complicated relationship with the Trans community.
While some are calling for him to be canceled, the family of the Trans woman that the Mark Twain Award recipient highlighted in “The Closer” is saying “back off.”
Family members of Daphne Dorman, the late transgender comedian who was a dear friend to Chapelle, say that their loved one adored him and considered him an LGBTQ ally.
One of Dorman’s sisters, Becky, exclusively told The Daily Beast, “Daphne was in awe of Dave’s graciousness.”
“She did not find his jokes rude, crude, off-coloring, off-putting, anything. She thought his jokes were funny. Daphne understood humor and comedy—she was not offended. Why would her family be offended?” she continued.
Her other sister, Brandy offered, “Dave loved my sister and is an LGBTQ ally. His entire set was begging to end this very situation.”
Brandy also shared with Facebook the following in defense of the comedian.
“At this point, I feel like he poured his heart out in that special and no one noticed.”
The post continued, “What he’s saying to the LGBTQ family is, ‘I see you. Do you see me? I’m mourning my friend in the best way I know-how. Can you see me? Can you allow me that?’… This was a call to come together, that two oppressed factions of our nation put down their keyboards and make peace. How sad that this message was lost in translation.”
Dorman’s death deeply impacted Chapelle. He mentioned her in his 2019 Netflix special, “Sticks & Stones.” She posted about it on her social media.
View this post on Instagram
“Yeah, you know, it’s just that moment when you realize that after Dave Chappelle talks about meeting you in the secret ending of his new Netflix special, you see your photo appears immediately after Barack Obama’s photo in the credits. #sticksandstones #davechappelle#netflix #imthatdaphne #funnygirl#standup #comedy #notabrittlespirit#itsgettinreal”
She also posted on Twitter, “Punching down requires you to consider yourself superior to another group. @DaveChappelle doesn’t consider himself better than me in any way. He isn’t punching up or punching down. He’s punching lines. That’s his job and he’s a master of his craft. #SticksAndStones #imthatdaphne”
Punching down requires you to consider yourself superior to another group. @DaveChappelle doesn't consider himself better than me in any way. He isn't punching up or punching down. He's punching lines. That's his job and he's a master of his craft. #SticksAndStones #imthatdaphne
— Daphne Dorman (@DaphneDorman) August 29, 2019
In “The Closer,” he mentioned that Dorman stood up for him against those who went against him in the LGBT community by referencing the aforementioned tweet.
He also mentioned that within a week after doing so, she died from suicide after being cyberbullied by the same community that called him transphobic.
“I don’t know what the trans community did for her,” Chappelle said, “but I don’t care, because I feel like she wasn’t their tribe. She was mine. She was a comedian in her soul.”
He further declared that he would make sure that Dorman’s children are taken care of by giving them a gift when they turned 21 years old.
Brandy posted, “After she committed suicide, all I saw all over social media was Dave-Chappelle-bashing … I commented on so many posts, which is something I do not do. I commented to defend Dave … Dave was the biggest bright spot for Daphne; She was enamored for the first time. Blaming Dave is beyond the wrong thing to do. He helped her and let her be comfortable while talking with him. She had many demons; Dave Chappelle was not one of them.”
“The man loved my sister and felt empathy towards her human experience … As often as Dave stands up for Daphne, we will be there for Dave. This man is our tribe, and we mourn alongside him.”