13 Reasons Why star Tommy Dorfman gives first interview about being a trans woman – The A.V. Club

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Tommy Dorfman

Tommy Dorfman
Photo: John Sciulli (Getty Images)

Tommy Dorfman, the actor who played Ryan Shaver in 13 Reasons Why, did an interview with TIME, where she opened up about being a trans woman. The actor hadn’t publicly announced she’s a trans woman before the interview, but as interviewer Torrey Peters notes, fans had noticed a change in the actor’s style and appearance.

Dorfman explains to Peters that she doesn’t necessarily see this as her coming out, but rather she says it’s “a reintroduction to me as a woman, having made a transition medically.” She adds, “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.” Dorman also confirmed that she won’t change her name, because she’s named after her mom’s brother who died shortly after her birth, so she feels “very connected to that name.”

She explains that though she didn’t feel safe enough to talk about being trans before, she used Instagram as a “diaristic time capsule—one that shows a body living in a more fluid space.” But, the discourse surrounding her body began to feel overwhelming, and as a public figure, she realized that not clarifying her identity as a woman could “strip [her] of the freedom to control [her] own narrative.”

The actor also talked about her upcoming role in Lena Dunham’s upcoming film Sharp Stick, saying that Dunham gave her her first role as a woman, which was “so exciting and validating.” Besides appearing in Sharp Stick, Dorfman will direct an adaptation of Mason Deaver’s novel I Wish You All the Best, about a non-binary teenager named Ben who’s thrown out of their home after coming out to their parents and has to move in with their estranged sister. She’s also starring in the Channel 4 limited series Fracture this fall.

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