13 Reasons Why star Tommy Dorfman ‘reintroduces’ herself as a proud trans woman

Tommy Dorfman

Tommy Dorfman has shared that she is a trans woman, confirming that her pronouns are she and her.

Dorfman, who is best known for playing Ryan Shaver on the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, opened up about her gender identity in a powerful interview with Detransition, Baby author Torrey Peters in TIME magazine.

In the interview, Tommy Dorfman revealed that she has been “privately identifying and living as a woman” for almost a year.

“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,” she explained.

“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.”

Throughout her wide-ranging interview, Tommy Dorfman said she decided to go public about her gender because she recognises that “transitioning is beautiful”.

She described her Instagram account as a “diaristic time capsule”, acknowledging that fans have noticed for the last year that she has gradually been changing the way she presents herself.

Dorfman said she ultimately decided to speak publicly because she “learned as a public-facing person” that refusing to clarify her gender could strip her of “the freedom to control my own narrative”.

Tommy Dorfman explained why she’s not changing her name after coming out as trans

While some trans people change their name, Dorfman explained why she wants to continue being known as Tommy.

“I’m not changing my name,” she said. “I’m named after my mom’s brother who passed a month after I was born, and I feel very connected to that name, to an uncle who held me as he was dying.”

She added: “This is an evolution of Tommy. I’m becoming more Tommy.”


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Dorfman went on to reveal that she was afraid transitioning would result in her losing her acting career – however, she ultimately realised the most important thing was that she live her life authentically.

She also praised Lena Dunham, who cast her as a woman in her upcoming film Sharp Stick. Dorfman described the experience as “exciting and validating”.

Dorfman said transitioning “has been liberating and clarifying”, but she opened up about the sadness that comes with “losing some things”.

“I have to reckon with the fact that I brought along a lot of people and things who might not end up being there for this part of my journey,” Dorfman said.

“All I can do now is look to a future where I am, hopefully, just radically honest. That’s the person I am becoming.”