Tommy Dorfman would have ‘transitioned a lot sooner’ without 13 Reasons Why role

Tommy Dorfman

13 Reasons Why actor Tommy Dorfman has admitted she would have “transitioned a lot sooner” if she had not landed her role in the hit Netflix drama.

The 30-year-old actor out as non-binary in 2017 and then as a transgender woman in July 2021, after the Netflix show had finished.

Speaking on the podcast Broad Ideas with Rachel Bilson Dorfman reflected on what happened after she won her role as Ryan Shaver in 13 Reasons Why.

“I got stuck in time for a minute,” she said. “I had to put a lot of stuff that I thought I was gonna work on or gonna do, personal development things, I had to compartmentalise and put them away.

“So when it came to anything around dysphoria or gender and stuff that had already been present I was like: ‘Nope that’s not for now.'”

Tommy Dorfman went onto explain the impact of playing such a high profile role as a 24-year-old still grappling with her own identity.

Tommy Dorfman.

Tommy Dorfman attends 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty)

She said: “In those early years of working I was just trying to understand. I think if I hadn’t booked that job I would have started transitioning a lot sooner. 

“I think because my work was so tied to my body and face and identity or whatever I had been identified as, it delayed some of my growth and maturation in my mid-20s. 

“And I think I also made decisions that were just not aligned with who I really was and who I really wanted but out of fear. I probably got married for the first time for safety because it felt like a safe, secure space.”

Dorfman and her husband of five years, Peter Zurkuhlen, divorced in February 2022, deciding to redefine their relationship as friendship.

Speaking to Vanity Fair Dorfman said: “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.”   

Tommy Dorfman also reflected on how it felt to be trans growing up: “I always felt like I was never the right age. I always felt like I wasn’t at the right place, right time. I always felt like I wasn’t really meant for the world I’m living in. 

“When I started transitioning I was like: ‘Oh no I’m totally meant for this body, meant for this time, meant for this world.’

“I was just wearing a sweater that was three sizes too small, for 28 years.”