Tommy Dorfman Says She’s “Been Privately Identifying and Living as a Woman” for a Year

by 24USATVJuly 22, 2021, 10 p.m. 18
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Tommy Dorfman reintroduced herself to the public this week as who she’s truly been all along—a woman.

On Thursday, the 13 Reasons Why star spoke openly for the first time about her transition in an interview with Detransition, Baby author Torrey Peters for Time magazine, revealing that, “For a year now, I have been privately identifying and living as a woman—a trans woman.” She added, “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. 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 explained that while she’s been living her truth on Instagram for several months now, documenting her ever-evolving sense of style and appearance, she wanted to publicly address medically transitioning as a means of taking back control over her own story. “I’ve 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,” she explained. “But 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. 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. With this medical transition, there has been discourse about my body, and it began to feel overwhelming.” She went on to explain that she’ll be keeping her birth name as she was named after her mother’s brother who died shortly after she was born. “I feel very connected to that name, to an uncle who held me as he was dying. This is an evolution of Tommy. I’m becoming more Tommy,” she said. “I love my name, I want to keep my name and give new life to my name. I’m really proud of the person that I was, too. I think that’s important to acknowledge. I’m proud of who I’ve been for the last however many years.”

Dorfman wrote that one of the things that initially held her back from publicly addressing her transition was trepidation surrounding her 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 said. “But I’m no longer interested in playing ‘male’ characters.” Dorfman continued, “I feel 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. So much of my work as an actor was like, hiding this part of myself and then bringing life to a character. And so I think I’m just excited to play women. Trans women, cis women, women in general. Non-binary, femme-presenting people. And it’s funny because I loved acting but I would hate going to work. It would always feel really uncomfortable to me. And now I know why.” She concluded, “Transitioning has been liberating and clarifying.”

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