Photo: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Prabal Gurung
Tommy Dorfman, best known for her role in 13 Reasons Why, is reintroducing herself as a trans woman. In a conversation with Detransition, Baby novelist Torrey Peters for Time magazine, Dorfman spoke about her gender, her identity, and how her image, both public and private, has recently evolved. “For a year now,” Dorfman said, “I have been privately identifying and living as a woman — a trans woman.”
Dorfman said she doesn’t necessarily think of this as coming out — “because I haven’t gone anywhere.” Rather, she said, “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.”
If you follow Dorfman on Instagram, you’ll know she hasn’t shied away from sharing changes in her style or her avid support of the trans community. “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?” Dorfman called her Instagram “a diaristic time capsule … one that shows a body living in a more fluid space.” Still, she recognized a need to talk about her identity in a more formal, clarifying way. “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.”
Dorfman, who is also an accomplished photographer, added that she’s “no longer interested in playing ‘male’ characters.” Her first female role will be in Lena Dunham’s upcoming film, Sharp Stick. “Sometimes you just have to say, ‘No, this is just who I fucking am,’” Dorfman told Peters.
As for her name, Dorfman will still go by Tommy, an homage to the late uncle she was named for. “I love my name, I want to keep my name and give new life to my name,” she said. “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.” So allow her to reintroduce herself, still as Tommy: “This is an evolution of Tommy. I’m becoming more Tommy.”