Daphne Dorman, a San Francisco-based comedienne, actress and transgender activist has died by suicide, the Office of Transgender Initiatives for the City & County of San Francisco confirmed to the Daily News.
Dorman was at the center of controversy recently after she was referenced by Dave Chappelle in a stand-up special that some people called transphobic. Dorman, however, “was laughing the hardest” at the trans jokes in his practice set, the comedian said.
Hours before news of her passing started to circulate online, Dorman posted what appears to be a goodbye message on Facebook Friday saying she was “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,” Dorman started.
“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,” she continued, before ending with an apology:
“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,” the emotional note ends.
Besides a growing career in show business, the Philadelphia native was also an accomplished software engineer, who as recently as August 2019, held a senior position at Vineti, a software automation and analytics platform for cell and gene therapies, according to her LinkedIn bio.
Dorman was cited by Dave Chappelle in his special “Sticks and Stones.”
The Netflix show, which premiered on Aug. 26, was slammed as offensive by many critics for the comedian’s “obsession with making fun of trans people.”
Its humor, however, was praised by some conservative outlets, such as Breitbart and The Federalist.
In a “hidden extra” of the Netflix special, Chappelle talked about becoming friends with a transgender woman who was “laughing the hardest” at the transphobic jokes.
Dorman promptly confirmed that she was the person Chappelle was referring to, even changing her Twitter bio to reflect it:
“Yep, I’m the Daphne that Dave Chappelle is talking about in Sticks and Stones,” she wrote, adding “Actress. Activist. Author. Advocate. Amazon."
According to a recent résumé posted online, Dorman explained her philosophy with the following quote: “If you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, maybe it’s because you’re the light at the end of someone else’s.”
San Francisco’s office of transgender initiatives, a city office that advances policies, programs and equity that support the transgender and the gender-nonconforming communities is urging anybody affected by the tragedy to look for help, if they need it.
“To our TGNC community, we love you,” TransCitySF said in a statement, which was posted on Twitter. “We are saddened to learn about of loss of Daphne Dorman today who was a beloved community member.”
People who need to speak with somebody about the traumatic experience should contact Trans Lifeline, a peer support crisis hotline for transgender folks at 877-565-8860 or reach out to Trans:Thrive.