'13 Reasons Why' Star Tommy Dorfman Comes Out As Trans Thu, 22 Jul 2021 19:00:00 +0100-Tommy Dorfman reveals she's “been privately identifying and living as a woman” for a year, publicly discussing her transition for the first time in a new 'Time' …
Tommy Dorfman reintroduced herself to the public this week as who she’s truly been all along—a woman.
On Thursday, the 13 Reasons Why star spoke openly for the first time about her transition in an interview with Detransition, Baby author Torrey Peters for Time magazine, revealing that, “For a year now, I have been privately identifying and living as a woman—a trans woman.” She added, “It’s funny to think about coming out, because I haven’t gone anywhere. 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.”
Dorfman explained that while she’s been living her truth on Instagram for several months now, documenting her ever-evolving sense of style and appearance, she wanted to publicly address medically transitioning as a means of taking back control over her own story. “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 explained. “But I recognize that transitioning is beautiful. Why not let the world see what that looks like? So I kept, on Instagram, a diaristic time capsule instead—one that shows a body living in a more fluid space. However, 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.” She went on to explain that she’ll be keeping her birth name as she was named after her mother’s brother who died shortly after she was born. “I feel very connected to that name, to an uncle who held me as he was dying. This is an evolution of Tommy. I’m becoming more Tommy,” she said. “I love my name, I want to keep my name and give new life to my name. 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.”
Dorfman wrote that one of the things that initially held her back from publicly addressing her transition was trepidation surrounding her career. “I’m most recognized for playing a bitchy gay poet on a soap opera, and I feared that by actively transitioning in my personal life, I would lose whatever career I’ve been told I’m supposed to have,” she said. “But I’m no longer interested in playing ‘male’ characters.” Dorfman continued, “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. 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. And it’s funny because I loved acting but I would hate going to work. It would always feel really uncomfortable to me. And now I know why.” She concluded, “Transitioning has been liberating and clarifying.”
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Tommy Dorfman Says She's “Been Privately Identifying and Living … Thu, 22 Jul 2021 19:00:00 +0100-The star of the Netflix series said that coming out as trans was about clarity.
Tommy Dorfman, who is best known for her role as Ryan Shaver on 13 Reasons Why, is ready to re-introduce herself to the world. In an interview with Time, Dorfman shares that she's made a medical transition and is ready to share her story. “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,” she said.
Dorfman, who has been “privately identifying and living as a woman – a trans woman” over the past year, explained that she was done with hiding her journey. “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. But I recognize that transitioning is beautiful. Why not let the world see what that looks like? So I kept, on Instagram, a diaristic time capsule instead—one that shows a body living in a more fluid space,” she explained.
“However, I’ve learned as a public-facing person that my refusal to clarify can strip me of the freedom to control my own narrative,” she said. “With this medical transition, there has been discourse about my body, and it began to feel overwhelming.”
To help her navigate her coming out, Dorfman said she looked to other people who have publicly 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,” she said.
Dorfman also explained why she is keeping her name. “I’m named after my mom’s brother who passed away a month after I was born, and I feel very connected to that name, to an uncle who held me as he was dying. This is an evolution of Tommy. I’m becoming more Tommy,” she said.
Dorfman is also ready to stop playing male characters, and that choice, she fears, may have an impact on her career. Ultimately, however, her need to live life authentically outweighed her fears. Right now, Dorfman's new focus is to “infuse my trans body into film and television. “Lena Dunham gave me my first role as a girl last year—it was so exciting and validating,” she said.
Dorfman also opened up about how her transition is changing her romantic connections as well. “It’s wild to be 29 and going through puberty again,” she said. “Some days I feel like I’m 14. As a result of that shift, the types of romantic partnerships I seek out are different. I was in a nine-year relationship in which I was thought of as a more male-bodied person, with a gay man. I love him so much, but we’ve been learning that as a trans woman, what I’m interested in is not necessarily reflected in a gay man. So we’ve had incredible conversations to redefine our relationship as friends.”
For now, Dorfman said she’s looking to a new future, one where she can be her truest self. “All I can do now is look to a future where I am, hopefully, just radically honest. That’s the person I am becoming.”
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– July 22, 2021
Tommy Dorfman Says She “Been Privately Identifying and Living