Open letter to Dave Chapelle: I told you to go fuck yourself in London in 2015. If you weren’t going to ask why someone might do that, you should have followed my advice

Dear Dave,

I am not arrogant enough to think you will ever read this. I doubt you will even remember me. But I feel compelled to put something out there that there is a 0.0004% chance you will ever read because I really would love for you to know what I am about to say. Who am I? I am the trans woman who told you to go fuck yourself at the Hammersmith Apollo in 2015.

I have thought a lot about why I did that. Shouting at comedians isn’t my thing. I don’t get offended. I didn’t act out of offence. I acted because you used the same tired jokes to justify disrespecting people like me because the idea of being trans was just too ridiculous for you to accept and 3000 people I was surrounded by agreed with you. And when was I ever going to get the chance to explain to you why your act was so awful? judging by how little you have listened to trans people in the last 6-7 years…I was right to take my one and only shot.

I couldn’t take yet another person making out that who I am, who trans people are is just too ridiculous to deserve basic respect. That trans people’s identities are just asking too much of people to not treat us like garbage. I am not forwarding some agenda. I am not asking anything from you that I wouldn’t ask from everyone to show everyone: basic respect. “I met a drunk trans woman at a thing and the idea of calling her a her was ridiculous, being trans is weird” is not basic respect.

Putting forward the idea that trans people’s identities cost people too much is putting forward an idea that justifies parents when they throw their trans kids on the streets. It is an idea that makes employers think twice about letting us in the building. It is an idea that hurts and kills in material actual ways.

Nobody raised a stink about what you were saying in 2015. A few trans people online wrote some blogs but for two years you travelled the world referring to people like me as ‘trannys’ without complaint.

But you could have asked yourself why. You could have asked any of us, any time, why trans people hated you. You could have done the work. Everyone’s an asshole about something until they learn new information. I know that’s been me a bunch of times. You had every chance, but you still put the same tired jokes in every special you’ve done since. And only now have you actually come out and said: “I am willing to listen” because the press are currently obsessed with trans crap and won’t shut up about you. It looks like you are afraid of your ‘greatest of all time’ label being tainted. Well, you did that in 2015. I was a fan of yours Dave, but you put that to bed pretty damned fast.

I don’t know why your one trans friend supported you. But if I had to guess, it was because she wanted to make it clear that her identity was not something that cost cis people anything.

The only thing I am more sick of than your garbage is how the press are obsessed with trans stuff and endlessly debating whether trans people are asking too much by just being accepted. I am a journalist that tries to be a reporter for the UK trans community. I should be covering clothes swaps and trans people starting peculiar businesses…not you and not this endless media shit fit about trans people. A shit fit that your name is now constantly tied to right now.

I cannot speak for trans people, and I don’t as a rule. I try to speak to them about things that matter and you aren’t that to me. I have never called for your specials to be removed. I have never said you shouldn’t be allowed to do anything. All I have said is that your specials and trans material have been garbage and I really hoped you would shut the fuck up about trans people and stop making out that who we are costs you anything.

I am not alone in that. You need to make your peace with the fact that a lot of trans people are never going to enjoy your work ever again because you have done that and you have never even attempted to make that right.

You need to make peace with the fact that your act got bad reviews and as such less people are willing to do business with you. You put out a shitty product! No wonder film festivals as less into doing business with you for your documentary.

You had every chance to turn this around. To make a better act. But you chose to keep performing the same tired shit for nearly 7 years.

But now you are ready to talk? Instead of doing a better act? Nobody fucking asked Dave. The last thing I would want to do right now is go meet you, paint a target on my back amongst your fans and be used by the press to generate more endless content about you.

Even if none of that was true, there is no evidence you would listen. You haven’t in nearly 7 years. Why should anyone believe you are going to start now? And why should anyone believe you have the best of intentions when you are sending every message that the only reason you want to now is to protect your status.

If you were never going to listen, then you should have followed my advice and gone off and fucked yourself.

You have to accept that a lot of people aren’t going to like you because of your choices and your actions. I know I don’t and never will ever again. I don’t judge people for their mistakes but I will judge them for doubling, trippling down for years.

Please do everyone a favour: shut the fuck up and let this media circus die. Trans people aren’t the ones keeping it going. Your pal Jon did that and you are doing that. How many trans people do you think have the power to put out whatever message they want through the global press?

We don’t run the press. And what you call being cancelled? It is people not liking your act and cis media people cashing in on making us a circus.

Now I am going to get back to my default setting: not thinking about you, not caring about you, and honestly I am really looking forward to the fact that you haven’t got any specials coming out anytime soon because I am so sick and tired of hearing about your crap.

This is the last time your name will ever appear on anything under this name. I have far more important things to deal with than your self pitying, self aggrandising nonsense.

Go fuck yourself Dave!

Michelle Snow.