13 Reasons Why Star Talks Coming Out Publicly As A Trans Woman And Why Now Was The Right Time

Tommy screenshot

For a member of the LGBTQ+ community, coming out can be a daunting experience. Many LGBTQ+ people use the experience as an opportunity to affirm their identities and reintroduce themselves to the world. 13 Reasons Why actor Tommy Dorfman is no exception - and she’s taking the time to let everyone know exactly who she is.

Tommy Dorfman, who rose to prominence after starring in the Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why, officially came out as a trans woman in a recent interview with TIME. Actually, maybe coming out isn’t exactly the right phrase, as Dorfman said:

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. Today is about clarity: I am a trans woman. My pronouns are she/her. My name is Tommy.

Tommy, we’re pleased to re-meet you. It’s refreshing to be able to see a trans celebrity be so upfront about their transition. Past celebrities have endured harsh criticisms when they tried to discuss their experience. In addition, there is often a great deal of (often inappropriate) speculation about their bodies and the more physical aspects of their transitions. Tommy Dorfman wanted to choose a different destiny for herself. She said:

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. But I recognize that transitioning is beautiful. Why not let the world see what that looks like? So I kept, on Instagram, a diaristic time capsule instead—one that shows a body living in a more fluid space. However, 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. So, recently I looked to examples of others who have come out as trans. There’s the version I couldn’t really afford to do, which is to disappear for two years and come back with a new name, new face and new body. But that’s not what I wanted.

Props to Tommy Dorfman for taking possession of her own narrative. It’s difficult for a celebrity to completely control how the media portrays them, but Tommy Dorfman told her own story before anybody else could spin one of their own.

13 Reasons Why was the subject of a fair amount of controversy, but it still managed to be incredibly popular on Netflix. Now that 13 Reasons Why is over, there’s plenty of similar content around if you liked the teen drama featuring Tommy Dorfman. Or if you’re looking for some solid LGBTQ+ representation, we have that covered too.

Rachel Romean

Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.