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13 Reasons Why’s Tommy Dorfman Introduces Herself as a Trans Woman

Courtesy of Tommy Dorfman/Instagram

Tommy Dorfman is reintroducing herself as a trans woman.

The 29-year-old, most known for her role as Ryan Shaver in Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, spoke candidly about her gender in a profile for TIME Magazine released on Thursday, July 22. “We’re talking today to discuss my gender,” Tommy shared. “For a year now, I have been privately identifying and living as a woman — a trans woman.”

When discussing her “coming out,” Tommy explained that it’s a “funny” thing because, “I haven’t gone anywhere.” She noted that this is “a reintroduction to me as a woman.”

“Coming out is always viewed as this grand reveal, but I was never not out,” the Love, Victor guest star shared. “Today is about clarity: I am a trans woman. My pronouns are she/her. My name is Tommy.”

When speaking candidly about her transition, Tommy shared that while she has “made a transition medically,” she won’t be changing her name. “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,” the Netflix alum clarified. “This is an evolution of Tommy. I’m becoming more Tommy.”

Over the past year, Tommy said she’s been keeping “a diaristic time capsule” on Instagram to let the world see their transition process.

“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 added. “With this medical transition, there has been discourse about my body, and it began to feel overwhelming. So, recently I looked to examples of others who have 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.”

As for her career, the Love in the Time of Corona star has plans to continue acting but is “no longer interested in playing ‘male’ characters.”

“It’s impossible for me to separate my personal and professional transition, because my body and face are linked to my 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 explained. “Sometimes you just have to say, ‘No, this is just who I f–king am.’”

When reflecting on her transition, Tommy called it both “liberating and clarifying,” noting that “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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