Daphne Dorman: Transgender Comedian Dies by Suicide

Stand-up comedian Daphne Dorman was 44 years old, transgender, and recently referenced in Dave Chappelle’s controversial stand-up special.

Earlier this month, she died in an apparent suicide.

She also left a note, apologizing to anyone who felt that she had failed them.

Content warning: this article features discussion of a trans woman’s suicide, including her suicide note.

In the wee hours of the morning of October 11, Daphne Dorman took to Facebook to pen a farewell note.

“I’m sorry,” her open letter began.

“I’ve thought about this a lot before this morning,” she wrote.

Daphne asked: “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,” she acknowledged. “That’s what I got out of all that thought.”

“To those of you who are mad at me: please forgive me,” Daphne asked.

She assured: “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,” Daphne expressed.

“I love you all. I’m sorry,” she wrote.

This is so heartbreaking to read — and it gets even sadder.

Daphne implored: “Please help my daughter, Naia, understand that none of this is her fault.”

Naia is pictured alongside Daphne in one of the photos that she chose to share with her final post.

“Please remind her that I loved her with every fiber of my being,” Daphne concluded.

She signed the apparent suicide note: “Daphne.”

There have been cases of people posting farewell messages but surviving. Unfortunately, this was not a false alarm.

Daphne’s sister, Becky Kugler, confirmed the grim news.

“It is with great sadness and despair to hand out this information,” Becky’s own comment began.

She wrote: “Sweet, sweet Daphne.”

“I so wish we could all have helped you through your darkness,” she expressed.

“We’ll always love you,” Becky concluded. “Fly high sweet angel.”

With transphobic hate running rampant in our society, Daphne is tragically not the only trans suicide victim this year.

But she received particular attention in recent weeks.

Just a month before her heartbreaking death, she was mentioned in Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special.

While his routine was considered by many to be transphobic, he recalled having met a trans woman who was working in stand-up.

He noted that she had laughed as hard at anyone at his jokes. That woman was Daphne.

“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,” Daphne wrote at the time.

She added: “You see your photo appears immediately after Barack Obama‘s photo in the credits.”

While that was an exciting moment for her nascent career, there was backlash — primarily at Chappelle — for some of the content of his routine.

It is unclear if Daphne’s apology in her apparent suicide note is making reference to that backlash.

It is possible that her passing is unrelated to her recent rise in visibility.

Our thoughts are with her surviving loved ones as they grapple with this loss.

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