13 Reasons Why's Tommy Dorfman Comes Out as Transgender

“Today is about clarity: I am a trans woman. My pronouns are she/her. My name is Tommy,” Tommy Dorfman shared in a new interview with TIME.

By Kisha Forde Jul 22, 2021 3:50 PMTags

Tommy Dorfman is reintroducing herself as a trans woman.
In an interview with novelist Torrey Peters for TIME Magazine, the 13 Reasons Why star opened up about her transition publicly for the first time.
"For a year now, I have been privately identifying and living as a woman—a trans woman," Tommy shared. "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," she continued. "Today is about clarity: I am a trans woman. My pronouns are she/her. My name is Tommy."

Tommy went on to explain that by opening up about her identity publicly, she is able maintain control over her own narrative.

"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 said. "But I recognize that transitioning is beautiful. Why not let the world see what that looks like?"

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"So, I kept, on Instagram, a diaristic time capsule instead," she continued. "One that shows a body living in a more fluid space." 
The Jane the Virgin star also noted that she does not plan to change her name, citing a personal connection to her first name.

"I'm named after my mom's brother who passed a month after I was born," Tommy explained. "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... I am actually myself."
"I love my name, I want to keep my name and give new life to my name," she continued. "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."

When it comes to her fast-growing career path, Tommy noted that 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," she said. "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--king am.'"

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In addition to her professional life, Tommy also reflected on the aspects of her personal relationships that have changed.
"Personally, it's wild to be 29 and going through puberty again. Some days I feel like I'm 14," she admitted. "As a result of that shift, the types of romantic partnerships I seek out are different, I was in a nine-year relationship in which I was thought of as a more male-bodied person, with a gay man. I love him so much, but we've been learning that as a trans woman, what I'm interested in is not necessarily reflected in a gay man."

"So, we've had incredible conversations to redefine our relationship as friends," she continued. "Transitioning has been liberating and clarifying." 

In a statement shared on July 22, GLAAD's Head of Talent, Anthony Allen Ramos expressed the organization's support of the 29-year-old star. 

"Tommy Dorfman sharing that she's a transgender woman will inspire so many trans young people and also reminds us that when it comes to queer identity there is not a specific timeline or roadmap to follow," Anthony stated. "Tommy received GLAAD's Rising Star Award in 2017 for using her platform to draw attention to important issues affecting LGBTQ people, and she continues that work at a time when the trans community is facing attacks in states all over the country. Tommy is a talented artist, and we look forward to the stories that she will tell about the trans community."