Tommy Dorfman Shares That She Is Trans

Tommy Dorfman  Shares That She Is Trans

Tommy Dorfman Shares That She Is Trans

'13 Reasons Why' star Tommy Dorfman reintroduces herself as a … Thu, 22 Jul 2021 09:00:00 -0700-In a 'Time' magazine interview with novelist Torrey Peters, the '13 Reasons Why' star spoke about gender, identity, and living as a trans woman.


Tommy Dorfman Shares That She Is Trans

July 22, 2021

Photo: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Prabal Gurung

Tommy Dorfman, best known for her role in 13 Reasons Why, is reintroducing herself as a trans woman. In a conversation with Detransition, Baby novelist Torrey Peters for Time magazine, Dorfman spoke about her gender, her identity, and how her image, both public and private, has recently evolved. “For a year now,” Dorfman said, “I have been privately identifying and living as a woman — a trans woman.”

Dorfman said she doesn’t necessarily think of this as coming out — “because I haven’t gone anywhere.” Rather, she said, “I view today as a reintroduction to me as a woman, having made a transition medically. Coming out is always viewed as this grand reveal, but I was never not out. Today is about clarity: I am a trans woman. My pronouns are she/her. My name is Tommy.”

If you follow Dorfman on Instagram, you’ll know she hasn’t shied away from sharing changes in her style or her avid support of the trans community. “I’ve been living in this other version of coming out where I don’t feel safe enough to talk about it, so I just do it,” she said. “But I recognize that transitioning is beautiful. Why not let the world see what that looks like?” Dorfman called her Instagram “a diaristic time capsule … one that shows a body living in a more fluid space.” Still, she recognized a need to talk about her identity in a more formal, clarifying way. “I’ve learned as a public-facing person that my refusal to clarify can strip me of the freedom to control my own narrative. With this medical transition, there has been discourse about my body, and it began to feel overwhelming.”

Dorfman, who is also an accomplished photographer, added that she’s “no longer interested in playing ‘male’ characters.” Her first female role will be in Lena Dunham’s upcoming film, Sharp Stick. “Sometimes you just have to say, ‘No, this is just who I fucking am,’” Dorfman told Peters.

As for her name, Dorfman will still go by Tommy, an homage to the late uncle she was named for. “I love my name, I want to keep my name and give new life to my name,” she said. “I’m really proud of the person that I was, too. I think that’s important to acknowledge. I’m proud of who I’ve been for the last however many years.” So allow her to reintroduce herself, still as Tommy: “This is an evolution of Tommy. I’m becoming more Tommy.”

Tommy Dorfman Shares That She Is Trans

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Tommy Dorfman Shares That She Is Trans Thu, 22 Jul 2021 09:00:00 -0700-Tommy Dorfman, who played Ryan Shaver in "13 Reasons Why," is opening up becoming her true self: "My pronouns are she/her. My name is Tommy."


’13 Reasons Why’ star Tommy Dorfman reintroduces herself as a trans woman: ‘I am actually myself’

July 22, 2021

Tommy Dorfman is reintroducing herself as a trans woman. 

The “13 Reasons Why” star, who played Ryan Shaver in the Netflix series, revealed that she has been “privately identifying and living as a woman” in a Time interview published Thursday. 

“Today is about clarity: I am a trans woman. My pronouns are she/her. My name is Tommy,” Dorfman said, adding that she has officially undergone a medical transition as well. 

Though she acknowledged that she was “never not out,” Dorfman, who previously used they/them pronouns, noted that being public about her transition for the first time is nonetheless a “beautiful” process.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, gender identity is a spectrum, and some people do not identify with a single fixed gender or have a fluid or unfixed gender identity. Transgender is an umbrella term for those whose gender identity or expression is different from the sex they were assigned at birth.

“With this medical transition, there has been discourse about my body, and it began to feel overwhelming,” she told the outlet. “So, recently I looked to examples of others who have come out as trans. There’s the version I couldn’t really afford to do, which is to disappear for two years and come back with a new name, new face and new body. But that’s not what I wanted.”


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Dorfman also revealed that she will not be changing her name in order to honor her namesake, “an uncle who held me as he was dying.”

“This is an evolution of Tommy. I’m becoming more Tommy,” she said, noting that it isn't a “transition” in the sense that she is going somewhere.

“Just that I am actually myself,” she clarified.

Dorfman added she will no longer take on any male roles – something that made her “feel really uncomfortable” – and will instead “infuse my trans body into film and television.”

“I feel like I haven't scratched the surface with my career or work because everything I've done up until the end of last year has been in the wrong body, and not in my truth,” Dorfman said. “So much of my work as an actor was like, hiding this part of myself and then bringing life to a character. And so I think I'm just excited to play women. Trans women, cis women, women in general. Non-binary, femme-presenting people.”

While acknowledging some feelings of sadness and loss during her transition, Dorfman said she is looking forward to a future where she is “just radically honest.”

“That’s the person I am becoming.”

Dorfman took to Instagram the same day to share her gratitude for other trans women who “broke barriers, and risked their lives to live authentically.”

“Thrilled to reintroduce myself as the woman i am today,” she wrote. “Thank you to all the trans woman (sic) that showed me who i am, how to live, celebrate myself, and take up space in this world.” 

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GLAAD responded to Dorfman's announcement

“Tommy Dorfman sharing that she's a transgender woman will inspire so many trans young people and also reminds us that when it comes to queer identity there is not a specific timeline or roadmap to follow,” GLAAD’s Head of Talent Anthony Allen Ramos said in a statement.

Dorfman received GLAAD's Rising Star Award in 2017 for using her platform to draw attention to important issues affecting LGBTQ people, the organization also shared.

“She continues that work at a time when the trans community is facing attacks in states all over the country. Tommy is a talented artist, and we look forward to the stories that she will tell about the trans community,” Ramos added.

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– July 22, 2021

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