13 Reasons Why star Tommy Dorfman opened up about now “identifying and living as a woman.”
The actress, best known for playing Ryan Shaver on the Netflix series, called her revealing interview with TIME a “reintroduction” as a woman following her “medical transition.”
Tommy told Time: “For a year now, I have been privately identifying and living as a woman—a trans woman.”
Asked if the interview was her way of coming out, Tommy replied: “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.”
Tommy went on of announcing her transition to TIME sharing: “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.
“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.
“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.”
Tommy went on to discuss why she’s not changing her name, sharing: “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. This is an evolution of Tommy. I’m becoming more Tommy.”
The actress then addressed how coming out has affected her professional career: “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.
“But I’m no longer interested in playing ‘male’ characters—except for maybe in a ‘Cate Blanchett playing Bob Dylan’ way. Sometimes you just have to say, “No, this is just who I f**king am.”