In comedian Dave Chappelle’s first special in 13 years, a joke about trans people upset many liberals and activists.
During Chappelle’s newest standup The Age of Spin: Live at the Hollywood Palladium, the comedian cracked multiple jokes about transgender transitions and the term LGBTQ.
“Stuart educates me about this movement,” Chappelle began, referencing a gay acquaintance and the LGBTQ community. “He told me it’s called ‘LBGTQ.’ I was like ‘what the fuck is the q for?’ Does that even make sense? Q?”
“It turns out q is like the vowels. That shit is ‘sometimes y,’” Chappelle quipped. “It’s for gay dudes that don’t really know they’re gay. You know what I mean? Kind of like prison fags.”
Chappelle then had a segment joking about two friends cutting off their genitals, poking fun at the idea of people transitioning sexes. Chappelle envisions one friend suggesting to the other they both cut off their penises.
“Are you sure that’s what you want to do?” Chappelle envisions one friend asking. “There’s only one way to find out: WU TANG!” Chappelle hollered, pantomiming cutting off his penis. Chappelle was a referencing a rapper from the Wu-Tang Clan who cut off his own penis before jumping out the window. Wu Tang clan denied any affiliation with the lunatic.
Chappelle’s joke triggered a small amount of outrage, and accusations that he is transphobic.
But Chappelle's material was homophobic and transphobic and involved rape culture. I've grown too much not to speak up about it now.
— April (@ReignOfApril) March 22, 2017
I literally JUST watched Dave Chapelle's new stand up special
And holy fuck, a whole transgender section
So much transphobia-
— Paige Z. (@FinalPaige) March 22, 2017
A Buzzfeed article claimed that Chappelle’s comments were an attempt by a “cisgender man” to assure people that he is not gay.
“When straight cis men aren’t denigrating queer people to affirm their masculinity, they might be paying lip service to women’s rights only as a ruse to get some ass,” the article adds.