Tommy Dorfman, one of the breakout stars of Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why,” has come out as a trans woman.
Dorfman posted on Instagram on Thursday, proudly announcing: “Thrilled to reintroduce myself as the woman I am today.”
“I’m especially grateful to every single trans person who walked this path, broke down barriers, and risked their lives to live authentically and radically as themselves before me,” the post continued. “Thank you to all the trans woman that showed me who I am, how to live, celebrate myself, and take up space in this world.”
Dorfman said the new pronouns she identifies with are “she/her.”
In her announcement, Dorfman posted photographs of herself, wearing a dress and heels, and thanked her “day one team” — including stylists and a glam squad — that has supported her “evolution in the most affirming of ways.”
Dorfman rose to fame in 2017 as one of the young stars of Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why,” which is based on the YA novel of the same name. Dorfman has amassed a sizable following on social media, where she has posted about LGBTQ causes.
Dorfman will next be seen in Lena Dunham’s “Sharp Stick,” a feature film completed in secret during the coronavirus pandemic. Plot details are under wraps, but Dorfman appears opposite Taylour Paige, Scott Speedman, Jon Bernthal and Jennifer Jason Leigh. She is repped by CAA and Anonymous Content.
In an interview with Time — titled “Tommy Dorfman Would Like to Clarify” — Dorfman said she has made a medical transition and has been in the process of transitioning for a year. “For a year now, I have been privately identifying and living as a woman — a trans woman,” Dorfman said.
Dorfman told the publication that she was initially afraid that transitioning would cause her her career in Hollywood.
“It’s impossible for me to separate my personal and professional transition, because my body and face are linked to my career,” Dorfman said. “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 fucking am.'”
Amid the process of transitioning, Dorfman said she was not at the place where she felt “safe enough” to talk about it, but she had been posting images of herself on Instagram to “let the world see what that looks like,” stating, “I recognize that transition is beautiful.”
Dorfman says she is not changing her name because she is named after her uncle, who died one month after she was born, so she feels connected to her name. “This is an evolution of Tommy,” she said. “I’m becoming more Tommy.”
“It’s funny to think about coming out, because I haven’t gone anywhere,” Dorfman 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.”
Following Dorfman’s announcement, GLAAD issued a statement on Thursday, applauding the artist and activist, who has been awarded by the organization for her work as an advocate of the LGBTQ community.
“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,” said GLAAD’s head of talent, Anthony Allen Ramos. “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.”
Matt Donnelly contributed to this article.