Dave Chappelle in San Francisco amid controversy

Comedian Dave Chappelle is appearing at Chase center in San Francisco Thursday night for a screening of a new documentary.

The appearance comes amid controversy over his latest Netflix special, one that drew criticism from the transgender community.

A sold-out crowd of 12,000 attended the screening  of Chappelle's documentary "Untitled"  about his performances at a neighbor's cornfield during the pandemic . 

The five hour event featured  a line-up of comedians, musicans and Chappelle himself.

He's very honest. He's very truthful. I feel like he's very personable," said Teen Tran of San Jose.

"He's really funny. He talks to a lot of different diversities," said Brittney Carter of Fairfield. 

Along Market Street at 7th, members of the nonprofit advocacy group The Transgender District, said Chappelle's jokes about their community are no laughing matter. 

"We simply want respect," said Jupiter Peraza, a transgender woman, "The humor, the jokes are going to lead to violence and death."

"To have people who are not a part of our community have such disgusting comments upon the way we live our lives is not even human," said Ivory Nicole Smith, a transgender woman.   

Comedian FC Sierra, an East Bay native is a self-described "trans woman." 

She says she's angry and disappointed at Chappelle who was once her favorite comedian. 

"To single out a group of people and to say that this imperiled group is less than," said Sierra, "It makes it harder to walk into a comedy room. It makes it harder for me to go into a show.

"I said what I said and boy, I heard what you said," said Chappelle in a video he posted on social media in response to critics, "Everyone I know from that community has been nothing but loving and supporting so I don't know what this nonsense is about."

Security outside Chase Center was tight, but there was no sign of protestors. Fans paid anywhere from $75 dollars up to several hundred dollars to attend this event.  

"He has every right to say whatever he wants to say. We don't have to agree with him," said Jorge Garcia of Pleasant Hill.

"To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience," Chappelle said he's willing to meet with the transgender community, but has several conditions including that they must watch his special first  in its entirety.

The transgender women who spoke with KTVU said they have no interest in doing that.

They said they're speaking out to raise awareness and to demand equality. 

Dave Chappelle performs to a sold out crowd onstage at the Hollywood Palladium on March 25, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)