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Actor Tommy Dorfman Would Have Transitioned Earlier if Not for ’13 Reasons Why’

She says her work on the controversial series delayed her plans.


Tommy Dorfman is seen on July 14, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/GC Images)

 (CNN) — Actress Tommy Dorfman came out as trans just over a year ago in a triumphant spread in Time. But if she hadn’t appeared on the popular Netflix series “13 Reasons Why,” she said, she may have come out earlier.

“I think if I hadn’t booked that job, I would’ve started transitioning a lot sooner,” Dorfman told Rachel Bilson on her podcast “Broad Ideas.”

“I think because my work being (sic) so tied to my body and like face and like identity, and whatever I’d been identified as, it delayed some of my growth and maturation in my mid-20s.”

Dorfman said she was cast on “13 Reasons Why” at 24, and even then she was combating gender dysphoria. But on the series, a controversial but widely watched teen drama that premiered in 2017, Dorfman played a gay, cisgender male, a situation that led her to “compartmentalize” the parts of her that questioned her identity.

“For me, I feel like I kind of got stuck in time for a minute,” she said of her casting on the show, for which she also expressed gratitude. “When it came to anything around dysphoria or gender or stuff that had already been really present, I was like, ‘nope, that’s not for now.'”

Dorfman also compared the first year of sobriety — she’s been sober since she was 21, she told Bilson — to her first year living as an out trans woman and the milestones she’s reached. Only this time, she said, she’s reaching these milestones very publicly.

“I felt like I had to do all those things again as a woman,” Dorfman said.” As my body takes a new shape and new form, more organically, like from hormones, I’m then confronted with new challenges.”

Dorfman had privately transitioned a year before her 2021 interview with Time. She called the announcement a “reintroduction to me as a woman.”

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Read the OutSmart Magazine story on trans actor Angelica Ross becoming the first trans woman to star as the lead in Chicago on Broadway. 

Angelica Ross attends the 7th Annual Hollywood Beauty Awards at Taglyan Complex on March 19, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic/Getty Images)


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