Irony is one of my favorite literary devices. When used properly, it keeps the reader in suspense, provides a source for absurd humor, and serves as a tool for thought.
I’ve noticed, over my many years of being in queer circles, that my type tend to be subjected to ironic situations regularly in our lives.
I mean, quite honestly, as a transman, someone who spent the biggest part of his life as the star of his very own weirdly inverted Tootsie drama…well, irony is rarely lost on me.
Which is why I find the delicate, thin skin of a highly successful comedian…one who has spent over three decades sharing his criticisms of racist systems and societies with an in-your-face, sometimes shocking approach…so hilarious.
Of course I’m speaking of Dave Chappelle and his whining about “being canceled”.
Will someone tell me how this fool has been canceled?
I mean he just dropped “The Closer” on Netflix.
After “The Closer” stirred up it’s share of controversy, he immediately went on to perform at The Hollywood Bowl in front of a star-studded audience, sharing the stage with a private screening of his “Untitled: Dave Chappelle Documentary”.
The hypocrisy…er…irony seems to have been lost on him when he was quoted as saying “If this is what being canceled is, I love it.”
Ironically, with that pompous attitude, if he were a 70 year old, white billionaire he could probably be President.
But don’t mind me, I’m just enjoying the absurdity of it all.
You see, what Dave Chappelle has to say, his actual words, mean very little to me.
Dave Chappelle does not hurt my feelings. His jokes are old, formulaic, tired. Kinda like him.
He’s reminiscent of the calcified, old state employee who has a lot of job security based on being a good worker at some point in the past and then managing to make it into work regularly for a decade afterwards without contributing much of anything else.
There’s isn’t much inspiration for him to try harder. I mean, he’s not hungry anymore. He’s comfortable. His biggest challenge in life right now, his biggest complaint, is “cancel culture”.
So now he has to stoop to picking on the queers to get a laugh.
Sadly though, what he says isn’t clever. It’s not said in a way that’s at all interesting, let alone funny. It doesn’t speak any truth to power. It’s basically pablum for little transphobes and homophobes to suckle on.
What actually irritates me is when those little fuckers grow a bit.
Especially when they’re self-proclaimed “progressives” who like to rattle on about how queers need to stop being so sensitive.
And then to be further cis-het mansplained and gaslighted…”if you would just pay attention you would see the nuances are all challenging white-supremacy”.
Trust me Mr. Straight White Man Gaslighting Mansplainer, I’m not saying that all queers are anti-racist, but I can guarantee you that queer folk fully understand the pain of exclusion, the fear of being attacked, the worry of systemic injustice much better than you can. We understand the fucked up nuances of systemic oppression quite well, thank you.
Take a seat please, Chad. Your ass is showing. He just totally tricked you into thinking he was a genius because of his “one transwoman friend”, Daphne Dorman, who, like so many trans folk before her, committed suicide in October of 2019.
He mentioned her in his show Sticks and Stones. He had her open for him at a show in San Francisco a month prior to her suicide. She greenlighted his transphobic comments. (Do you think it had anything to do with the fact that, as a comic who just got a plug and a career opportunity from Chappelle that she could actually be honest regarding her actual feelings about his material? Think on this for a second.)
She left a Facebook post prior to her suicide. Check out this rather telling excerpt here:
“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.”— Daphne Dorman, October 11th, 2019, via Facebook
“To those of you who feel like I failed you: I did and I’m sorry…” So uh, yeah…what in the world do you think she could have been talking about?
She had a daughter. Chappelle knew nothing about the daughter until the news popped up in her obituary.
Listen, Chappelle is a black man. He has, without a doubt, had his challenges.
He’s also a very smart man. I mean, he graduated from the Duke Ellington school of the arts. This is no small accomplishment. Additionally, his dad was a professor and dean of students at Antioch College. His mom was also a professor as well as a Unitarian minister.
Mr. Chappelle is definitely not uneducated. He is the product of a very unique and illustrious liberal education. His family had people like Pete Seeger at their home, for crying out loud.
Despite his many challenges, with a lot of hard work and some convenient connections, he is now a rich and famous multi-millionaire, with a huge platform and an enviable life, however. He’s quite comfortable. He made this statement himself as part of the opening of “The Closer”.
So, want to know who else has big challenges? Even bigger than Mr. Chappelle’s?
Gay black men have it harder than he does. Black transwomen and transmen have it even harder. Lord help those transfolk if they’re gay as well.
Chappelle likes to paint a picture that all LGBTQ+ people are white, but let’s take a look at a real fact…
2020 saw a record year of 44 murdered trans people. Keep in mind, these folks have all been confirmed to have been murdered as a result of being trans. It’s a hate crime. This does not count people who have been assaulted, battered, or in any other way physically harmed. The preponderance of these folks are black transwomen. 2021 isn’t looking much better. Out of the 38 murders (as of the time of this writing) 25 of them are black. That’s about 67%. Just for context, black folk make up about 13% of our population here in the United States and trans folk make up approximately .6% of the population. Those are some seriously lopsided, shameful numbers. If you need to know more, you can read it for yourself by visiting the Human Rights Coalition webpage devoted to fatal violence against trans people.
I guess black queers don’t comfortably fit into Chapelle’s black narrative. This is a shame as it’s those same black queers that are showing up, religiously, for BLM protests, right alongside their Pride appearances.
Frankly, I don’t really give a shit about Dave Chappelle’s challenges today. I mean, hey, if what he has right now is challenging, most of us would love it, right?
I mean, really…to be rich and famous and powerful enough to stand on a stage in front of a bunch of people, talk a little bit about Covid, joke about black men beating up on Asians, and then shit out an hour’s worth of lazy anti-LGBTQ+ sewage and THEN talk about your transwoman “friend” who committed suicide and use her as your “get out of jail free” card…and get paid a lot of money for it?
Here’s a challenge for you, Dave…
What’s the name of her kid? You know, the one you knew nothing about until you read about her in her mom’s obituary?
Here’s some serious irony: a transphobe tool using a transwoman as a tool.
Humerus, humorous, humor us.
So glad this was the closer and not the opener.