What Happened to Daphne Dorman? Dave Chappelle Remembers His Friend in Netflix’s The Closer

Daphne Dorman was a transgender comedian who was misnamed as Daphne Dwarman in the Dave Chappelle Netflix comedy special The Closer, released in 2021. She committed suicide after appearing in the Sticks & Stones special. Dive deep into her life as a comedian, a mother, and a friend of the comedy GOAT!

Dave Chappelle is probably the greatest comedian to ever take the stage. Not a comedian who leveraged his stage success to become a movie star, but a funnyman who stayed true to his craft. Even leaving millions of dollars on the table after a dispute with Comedy Central. While most would consider Dave the greatest of all time, he however is not a comedian for everyone.

For the longest of time the Chappelle show maestro landed in controversies for what was deemed to be offensive comments. But unlike other comedians who were cancelled for their views, Dave thrived by not even acknowledging them. Millions of fans around the world also helped as they would come to defense of the Ohio native. Still, one this has always been common in his career, the comedian has had a “beef” with trans people.

So, it was interesting to hear in Sticks & Stones, Dave giving a shoutout to a transgender woman. Someone who opened for him in San Francisco and a person Dave considered friend. That friend was 44-year-old Daphne Dorman, an aspiring comedian from California who randomly met Chappelle and the two became good friends. Here were are taking a look at what happened to Daphne Dorman and her relationship with Dave Chappelle.

What Happened to Daphne Dorman? Suicide Note, Reason and Obituary Details

daphne-dorman-suicide-reason-obituary-2021Daphne Dorman (Daphne Dwarman) was a transgender comedian who formed a friendship with Dave Chappelle. She committed suicide in 2019, few days after being mentioned by the comedian in his show.
Image Source: Instagram

Daphne Dorman was a software engineer living in San Francisco and doing comedy on the side. She was a fan of Dave Chappelle and someone who also wanted to be a comedian. She was a transgender woman living in California with her daughter and her call to fame was opening for and then appearing in the credits of Dave Chappelle’s show.

But a few days after Dave gave her a shoutout on stage and she excitedly wrote about her involvement on social media, the budding comedian killed herself. She committed suicide about a week after the show came out on Netflix, something that shook the Ohio native resulting in him reaching out to her family and starting a fund for her daughter.

The news of Daphne Dorman, who was misidentified as Daphne Dwarman by Netflix closed captions, committing suicide came on 11 September 2019. It did not come out without prior notice however as the comedian took to Facebook to say goodbye. No one was able to stop her and later her sister took to the comment section to express her dismay and announce she had died.

The Facebook message read, “I’m sorry. 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.”

That status update served as the suicide note as people later flocked to the comment section in memory of Daphne. As for the obituary, there was none that we could find, only the fb status which now serves as a memorial for the aspiring comedian. Then there is the reason for her suicide which has been speculated even by Dave Chappelle.

Some of reasons floated soon after her death was people blaming Dave for pulling her into his “transphobic” set. While that was swiftly debunked by people who referenced Daphne’s own tweet of her defending Dave after the special came out. She took to Twitter to say that Chappelle was not punching down to anyone and that tweet received over 2000 likes.

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Daphne wrote, “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.”

During his special The Closer in 2021, Dave Chappelle himself speculated if it was the people who went after Daphne for her defense of the comedian were to blamed for her suicide. He did not know why she killed herself but wanted to know the answer all the same like every one of us. Still, by the end of the show the comedian paid his tribute and told one last joke at her expense, something he assured she would’ve enjoyed.

When Did Daphne Dorman Transition?

Daphne Dorman was about to turn 40 when she decided it was time for her to be true to herself. Living as a man was not her identity so in April 2014 she began her transition. The aspiring comedian wrote how amazing it was to be out as a woman. Her daughter Naia was little when shed transitioned and it had been over 5 years since accepting her true self when she committed suicide.

Talking about the day she began her process to become a woman, Daphne wrote on Twitter, “1,612 days ago, I introduced my authentic self to the world. Over the course of those four years, four months, and 29 days, I’ve learned more about myself and this world than I ever dreamt…” By the end, she lived her true life and from what little we know of her, Daphne was a wonderful person who is dearly missed by her friends and family.

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