Transgender Activist, Comedian Referenced By Dave Chappelle Dies By Suicide

Transgender Activist, Comedian Referenced By Dave Chappelle Dies By Suicide


Transgender activist and comedian Daphne Dorman has died at 44. 

Dorman, of San Francisco, posted a note to her Facebook page Oct. 11 asking friends and family for forgiveness. Becky Kugler, who identified herself as Dorman’s sister, confirmed in the comments of the post that Dorman had taken her own life. 

“It is with great sadness and despair to hand out this information. Sweet, sweet Daphne,” Kugler wrote. “I so wish we could all have helped you through your darkness. We’ll always love you, fly high sweet angel.”

That same day, San Francisco’s Office of Transgender Initiatives confirmed Dorman’s death on Twitter.  

The news comes weeks after Dorman received a shoutout from comedian Dave Chappelle in Netflix’s “Sticks & Stones.” The live special, shot at the Tabernacle in Atlanta and released Aug. 26, was widely panned by critics, including several who deemed some of its jokes racist and transphobic. 

But in an addendum to the special, Chappelle spoke about his friendship with a trans woman who he claimed was “laughing the hardest” at his jokes. That woman turned out to be Dorman, whose name and photo appear in the credits of “Sticks & Stones.”

Dorman, a native of Philadelphia, acknowledged her mention in the film on Instagram.

Her Twitter bio identified her as “the Daphne that Dave Chappelle is talking about in ‘Sticks & Stones.’” She also opened for Chappelle at his Sept. 26 performance at the Punch Line in San Francisco. 

In addition to her performing career, Dorman worked as a software engineer and until recently held a senior position at Vineti, a software automation and analytics platform, according to the New York Daily News

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.





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