Tommy Dorfman reveals engagement to girlfriend: ‘Love is so scary’

Tommy Dorfman stands in the press section of the GLAAD Media Awards wearing a yellow dress.

13 Reasons Why star Tommy Dorfman has announced that she is engaged.

The actor announced her engagement to her partner, a cis woman who she playfully described as “just a gay girl,” on a recent episode of Rachel Bilson’s Broad Ideas podcast released on Monday (15 August).

Dorfman gushed over the relationship, saying: “It’s safe. Also not safe, like, being in love is so scary. So uncomfortable, so painful. All the universal feelings of being in love that are probably the same.”

She told Bilson that her fiancée is one of the very first women she’s been with “in a very long time”, and that she’d begun to feel attracted to women “in a way that I hadn’t really been aware of since high school”.

Dorfman began to explore those feelings after she and Peter Zurkuhlen, her husband of five years, divorced in February this year.

“I had this unresolved, unexplored thing,” she said.

“I was like, ‘This is the year that I’m gonna go on some dates with girls and feel that out again, and not feel ashamed about it.”

She told Bilson that she and Zurkuhlen wanted to use their breakup as a way to “redefine our relationship as friends” after she came out as trans.

“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,” she said.

Despite her adamance to express her newfound feelings, Dorfman said she was afraid to open up about her attraction to women to her friends.

“Because they thought of me as a gay man, they were like, ‘oh, like you’re the safest person in the world,’ and then suddenly, I transition and I become a little bit more threatening, in my head.”

During that time, she was excited to find the person she would “spend the rest of my life with,” having seemingly met her fiancée during those explorative months.

Tommy Dorfman posing behind a blue GLAAD Media screen in a yellow shoulderless dress.

Tommy Dorfman attends the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Hilton Midtown in New York City. (Cindy Ord/Getty)

Best known for playing Ryan Shaver in the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, Tommy Dorfman opened up about her trans identity for the first time in July 2021 during an interview with TIME Magazine.

During the interview, Dorfman revealed that she had been “privately identifying and living as a woman” for almost a year before publicly coming out.

“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 at the time.

Now, during the podcast, she further explained what going through hormone therapy feels like, saying that it’s “wild to be 29 and going through puberty again”.

She also revealed that her fiancée helps her administer her oestrogen shots that come with hormone therapy, saying that she apparently “knew how, so she did it for me the first time. Then she was out of town and we FaceTimed and she walked me through it”.