'13 Reasons Why' Star Tommy Dorfman Reintroduces Herself As Transgender Woman

by Valerie Williams
Tommy Dorfman/Instagram

“Today is about clarity: I am a trans woman. My pronouns are she/her. My name is Tommy.”

In a new interview with Torrey Peters for TIME Magazine, 13 Reasons Why star Tommy Dorfman has reintroduced herself to the world as a transgender woman.

Dorfman tells Peters, who is a transgender woman and author of the book Detransition, Baby: A Novel, “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 came to fame as Ryan Shaver on the hit Netflix series and will next appear in Lena Dunham’s Sharp Stick, a feature film shot in secret during the pandemic. She will appear opposite Taylour Paige, Scott Speedman, Jon Bernthal and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

She shares that she’s been living as a woman for about a year. “For a year now, I have been privately identifying and living as a woman — a trans woman,” she says. “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.”

In her interview, Dorfman also spoke of her fears about how coming out as transgender would impact her acting career. “It’s impossible for me to separate my personal and professional transition, because my body and face are linked to my career,” she said. “I feared that by actively transitioning in my personal life, I would lose whatever career I’ve been told I’m supposed to have. But I’m no longer interested in playing ‘male’ characters — except for maybe in a Cate Blanchett playing Bob Dylan way. Sometimes you just have to say, ‘No, this is just who I fucking am.’”

Dorfman isn’t changing her name as it holds deep personal meaning. She was named after her mom’s brother who passed away shortly after she was born. “This is an evolution of Tommy,” she says. “I’m becoming more Tommy.”

She shared on Instagram today writing, “i’m especially grateful to every single trans person who walked this path, broke down barriers, and risked their lives to live authentically and radically as themselves before me. thank you to all the trans woman that showed me who i am, how to live, celebrate myself, and take up space in this world.”

“It is not transition,” Dorfman tells Peters. “Or it is, but not as an idea of going somewhere. Just that I am actually myself.”