David Chapelle's latest special is just out on the 5th of October, and I sincerely never laughed so hard in my life with a heavy heart. Dave was a role model to me for years, and his comedy always resonates with me in an educational and spiritual way. I never thought there would be a day he would stop comedy once more, but he did say that he would stop specials for a while for reasons he stated throughout the show. The special resonated with me in a special way, because it's beautifully written about a very sensitive subject and he came in peace to speak about it.
Dave proceeded to speak about cancel culture and how the LGBTQ+ community has come after him for years since his first special. However, one special story stood out, which was Daphne's story.
Daphne is a transgender woman and Dave's friend, she used to be a beginner comedian and she has no to little experience in the stand-up comedy business, but he let her open his show in San Fransisco. Daphne has stood out eventually in the show and showed how funny she was.
Fast forward to Dave's scandal with the community after "Stick and Stones" was out. Twitter was filled with so much rage toward him stating that he "punch down at the transgender community", however, Daphne stood up for him and made a beautiful tweet stating " David doesn't punch down on the community, Punching down requires you to consider yourself superior to another group. Dave doesn't consider himself better than me in any way." That simple tweet for a comedian who gave her a chance when the world didn't, made her a target for the harshest insults and negative criticism I ever witnessed. Thus she ends up killing herself, leaving a young daughter behind. Daphne left this earth with a heavy heart, and was killed with the words of people she considered "her people". I sincerely didn't understand what pain you must go through as a person to kill one of your own with hateful words, just for the fact that they stood up for their own Idol. This raises the question to what extent the community is willing to go behind screens, to "cancel" and ruin the careers of people who sincerely come in peace.
Which led me to think of one specific friend, whom I will hold his name for privacy reasons.
This friend was like a brother during the course of years. I met him in the early 2010s however we stayed in touch during what I would call the "self-discovery phase". He was going through stages of him discovering what he was feeling, and what his feelings might mean. Eventually, he did realize he was gay, and I was the first to know. Because if you live in an Islamic country such as Morocco, you would know it's a dangerous experience to come out as a homosexual. However, he did try to live in peace and try to find communities nearby to feel the belonging he was longing for. He never did find peace anywhere, due to the fact he was a timid 5 '7 foot who recently moved from an Amazigh village. Due to the fact of his lack of education and poverty, he was never looked at as an equal even within the community, but rather he felt a certain judgment he didn't find in the general public. He sincerely felt trapped, and as someone who witnessed his journey, he was trapped in a hell circle between poverty, unemployment, crippling depression, and a sick mother that broke his heart into pieces. I had no power to help at the time, however, he felt comfort in telling me that most people forget one piece of information about the community. That behind every lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer there is a human; this human might as well be poor or rich, educated or uneducated, speaks whatever language, and believe in whichever religion they choose. He said behind every LGBTQ member there is a good or a bad human being like everybody else's and carries problems way beyond what you expect. Even though my friend has never seen the inside of a classroom, he was wise and well behaved. I may never really fully understand what he was feeling, but I believe that he was going through a human experience of hell on earth. He was stronger than I could ever imagine, and fought through the pain and gathered enough resources to leave the country illegally looking for that welcoming hand he once wished for. Fast forward to last week, the 1st of October at 10:00 pm at the desk when I received a call from my friend's brother after months of absence. My friend was presumed dead by the local authorities of Italy, with unknown reasons that turn out to be poison in his system. His brother told me he asked about me for months when he called his family, but he had no way to contact me. I was shocked by the news and shocked even more by the fact that he was poisoned. It made me wonder sincerely was it a suicide or was it a murder, but what troubled me and made me stay awake is the fact that he never found the peace he was looking for. Which made me conclude that a poor Moroccan is always out of place and punched down by the world, no matter how far you may leave and the effort you put, you come back to square one. Gay or straight, or even trans, behind that there is a nationality and culture that's looked down upon and sincerely mistreated. He died in vain believing honestly in Allah too and believed in honest tolerance for everyone. With a pure heart like his, it makes me raise the question, which one of his problems should he solve first; the fact that he's Moroccan or his poverty, or his foreign identity in a new country or his sexuality. Or should the world actually see the human behind all the filters and labels, and respect him for the pure honest human he was. No matter what killed him, he was poisoned way before he died, he was poisoned by a world that wants to label and cancel everybody for just being different. He was sincerely poisoned by the same he once identified with, and what my friend should've realized earlier that to find a welcoming hand he shouldn't have traveled miles, he should've looked within him to understand that the world became a judgemental place where you don't need to go to court to have a judgment stuck to your back.
I quote Dave when he said, " I will hold talking about the community till I make sure that we all laugh together at my jokes" and as such I will hold on to my pen until I see the world realizes that we're all humans, we want to live and prosper, understand and be understood, love and be loved, and most importantly feel the belonging.
To the people who did kill Daphne and my friend, I honestly wish you to find peace in your lives from whatever pain caused you to take beautiful souls with your words.
To Daphne and my friend, rest in peace beautiful, you didn't die in vain, you've literally been too good for this earth, and wish you happiness wherever you are. My sincerest condolences to their families.