’13 Reasons Why’ Star Tommy Dorfman Comes Out as Transgender: ’29 and Going Through Puberty Again’

Instagram/Tommy.Dorfman/Netflix
Instagram/Tommy.Dorfman/Netflix

Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why star Tommy Dorfman announced on Thursday that he is now transgender, and has been “living as a woman” for the last year, adding, “it’s wild to be 29 and going through puberty again.”

“thrilled to reintroduce myself as the woman i am today. my pronouns are she/her,” said Dorfman, who played Ryan Shaver on Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, a show about teen suicide.

Dorfman also told TIME Magazine that, “For a year now, I have been privately identifying and living as a woman — a trans woman.”

The actor went on to clarify that his Thursday announcement has nothing to do with him “coming out” as gay — because he has already been “out” — but is actually about reintroducing himself into the world as a trans woman.

“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 added that he has decided not to change his name, because he was named after his mother’s brother, who died a month after he was born.

“I feel very connected to that name, to an uncle who held me as he was dying,” Dorfman explained. “This is an evolution of Tommy. I’m becoming more Tommy.”

The actor also explained that he posted Instagram photos showcasing the physical changes he was going through before officially making his announcement, because he recognizes that “transitioning is beautiful,” so, “why not let the world see what that looks like?”

 

Dorfman also admitted that there is some grief and loss in transitioning, adding that part of the process involves reminding yourself that “everything was terrible before.”

“There’s a way in which in order to justify transition, you have to say everything was terrible before,” Dorfman said. “And the sad part is you don’t get to acknowledge some of what you’re leaving.”

As for what’s next in Dorfman’s career, the actor said he is mulling over ideas about how to “infuse my trans body into film and television,” adding that Lena Dunham offered him his first role as a female in her upcoming film, Sharp Stick.

“It was so exciting and validating,” Dorfman said. “It’s wild to be 29 and going through puberty again. Some days I feel like I’m 14. Transitioning has been liberating and clarifying.”

Dorfman is not the only celebrity to come out as transgender. In December, X-Men and Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy star Elliot Page — formerly known as actress Ellen Page — announced that she was transgender.

By May, Page posted a shirtless pool photo revealing the star’s naked torso, which appears to have been subjected to a double mastectomy.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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