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RIP Daphne Dorman — Transgender Comedian Dead At 44

Photo: Facebook
How Did Daphne Dorman Die? New Details On Death Of Transgender Comedian At 44

How did Daphne Dorman die? 

Transgender comedian Daphne Dorman has died by suicide after posting a public suicide note on a Facebook Friday, October 11. She was 44 years old. The San-Francisco based comedian was known as a trans-inclusive standup comedian and LGBTQ activist. She is survived by her young daughter, Naia.

Dorman was good friends with fellow stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle made a transsexual joke that was considered transphobic by viewers. The joke appeared on Chappelle's Netflix special Sticks and Stones which was released a week prior to Dorman's death. Dorman attended the show in question but had nothing but great things to say about Chappelle and his performance. She even mentioned Chappelle in her Twitter bio. "Yep, I'm the Daphne that Dave Chappelle is talking about in Sticks and Stones," she wrote. Many have speculated that the joke and Dorman's suicide are related, but it is unknown if this was a contributing factor.

None of her postings on social media indicated any suicidal behavior and the exact reason why this happened is unknown at this time. Daphne Dorman was well-loved and will be missed by many.

1. She posted the note on Facebook.

“I’m sorry,” Dorman wrote in the post. “I’ve thought about this a lot before this morning. How do you say ‘goodbye’ and ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you’ to all the beautiful souls you know? For the last time. There's no good way. That's what I got out of all that thought. To those of you who are mad at me: please forgive me. To those of you who wonder if you failed me: you didn't. To those of you feel like I failed you: I did and I'm sorry and I hope you'll remember me in better times and better light. I love you all. I'm sorry. Please help my daughter, Naia, understand that none of this is her fault. Please remind her that I loved her with every fiber of my being."

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2. Her sister confirmed her death in the comments.

Daphne's sister Becky Kugler confirmed the transgender comedian's death in the comments of the suicide note post. She wrote: “It is with great sadness and despair to hand out this information. Sweet, sweet Daphne. I so wish we could all have helped you through your darkness. We’ll always love you, fly high sweet angel."

3. She was friends with Dave Chappelle.

According to Newsweek, Dave Chappelle spoke of her in his Netflix special Sticks and Stones. Daphne took to Instagram to shared her excitement of being in the show’s credits and said, “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.” In a hidden extra, Chappelle noted Dorman, his friend, was at one of his practice shows, "laughing the hardest."

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4. Dave Chappelle was criticized for using trans jokes in his stand up.

Chappelle got into some controversy this year after his Netflix special was released and made him appear anti-trans. He shared that he has nothing against the trans community and even credited Daphne as supporting his stand up. Many users have speculated that this joke may have allegedly had something to do with the suicide but according to Buzzfeed, “they chatted at the bar and Daphne thanked him for ‘normalizing transgenders.’” 

5. She was also a software engineer.

According to Daily News, Daphne wasn’t only a stand-up comedian. She had what may seem like a more surprising career. Daphne was a senior software engineer, at Vineti, a software automation and analytics platform for cell and gene therapies.

6. TransCitySF sent their love and support for anyone in the trans community who may need help.

In a Twitter post, TransCitySF said, “To our TGNC community, we love you,” TransCitySF said in a statement. “We are saddened to learn about of loss of Daphne Dorman today who was a beloved community member.”

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.

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Elizabeth Ward is a writing student finishing her bachelor’s at the University of Louisville. She covers news, entertainment, relationships and everything in between.