In The Know

'13 Reasons Why' actress Tommy Dorfman comes out as transgender

"13 Reasons Why" actor Tommy Dorfman says she's "reintroducing" herself to the world, coming out as transgender. 


"For a year now, I have been privately identifying and living as a woman - a trans woman," Dorfman said in an interview with Time published Thursday.


For the 29-year-old actor, who played Ryan Shaver on the Netflix series, the revelation shouldn't necessarily be considered a "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," 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."



Dorfman told Time that she didn't "feel safe enough" to discuss her transition, instead opting to show her progression through social media.

"I recognize that transitioning is beautiful. Why not let the world see what that looks like? So I kept, on Instagram, a diaristic time capsule instead - one that shows a body living in a more fluid space."

But the online "discourse" about Dorfman's body, she said, felt "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," Dorfman said.

Because of her profession, Dorfman said it would be impossible for her to separate her personal and professional transition since "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. But I'm no longer interested in playing male' characters...Sometimes you just have to say, 'No, this is just who I f------ am.'"