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

Tommy Dorfman is staying true to her authentic self. In a new interview published by Time on Thursday, the 13 Reasons Why star revealed that she is a transgender woman, telling novelist Torrey Peters, "For a year now, I have been privately identifying and living as a woman — a trans woman."

Speaking with Peters in the all-encompassing interview, Dorman, who starred as Ryan Shaver in the Netflix original series, said "It's funny to think about coming out, because I haven't gone anywhere." Dorfman said she instead views today "as a reintroduction to me as a woman, having made a transition medically." Dorfman said "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."

According to Dorfman, who for the past year has been documented a change of style and appearance in her social media posts, she has 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?" She said amid this realization, she "kept, on Instagram, a diaristic time capsule instead — one that shows a body living in a more fluid space," though she "earned as a public-facing person that my refusal to clarify can strip me of the freedom to control my own narrative. With this medical transition, there has been discourse about my body, and it began to feel overwhelming."

As she continues to live her truth, Dorfman said she will not change her name, as she was named in honor of her mother's brother who died shortly after she was born. Dorfman said she feels "very connected" to Tommy, "to an uncle who held me as he was dying." Instead, Dorfman said, "This is an evolution of Tommy. I'm becoming more Tommy. I love my name, I want to keep my name and give new life to my name."


Although Dorfman said she considered a version of coming out where she'd "disappear for two years and come back with a new name, new face and new body," she said that was ultimately something she "couldn't really afford to do." She said that through coming out and telling her story, she hopes to spread awareness about gender fluidity and "how fast and dynamic and vulnerable it can be, how it's an ongoing thing." Dorfman added that now that she is living publicly as a trans woman, she is "no longer interested in playing 'male' characters." She also revealed that she has already booked her first role as her true self in Lena Dunham's upcoming film Sharp Stick. Looking ahead, she said she feels "like I haven't scratched the surface with my career or work because everything I've done up until the end of last year has been in the wrong body, and not in my truth."