Tommy Dorfman, ’13 Reasons Why’ star, is celebrating herself as a trans woman

Tommy Dorfman has reintroduced herself as a trans woman, taking to social media to say “my pronouns are she/her.”

“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. 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,” she wrote.

Dorfman, who played Ryan Shaver on “13 Reasons Why,” spoke to Time, telling the publication, “For a year now, I have been privately identifying and living as a woman — a trans woman.”

“It’s funny to think about coming out, because I haven’t gone anywhere,” she continued. “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.”

Dorfman added that she wanted to let the world see what transitioning looks like, and says over the past few months, she has been documenting her transition on Instagram.

“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?” she said. “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.”

Dorfman says she will keep her name, which is in honor of her mother’s brother who died shortly after she was born. “I feel very connected to that name, to an uncle who held me as he was dying,” she said. “This is an evolution of Tommy. I’m becoming more Tommy.”

“I love my name, I want to keep my name and give new life to my name,” she continued. “I’m really proud of the person that I was, too. I think that’s important to acknowledge. I’m proud of who I’ve been for the last however many years.”

GLAAD responded to the news on Thursday with a statement, saying Dorfman’s public announcement will inspire many young people.

“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,” GLAAD’s Head of Talent Anthony Allen Ramos said. “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.”

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