Tommy Dorfman Believes Success Of ’13 Reasons Why’ Delayed Her Transition

Actress Tommy Dorfman is opening up about her transition journey!

The actress, who publicly emerged as a transgender woman in 2021, recently revealed that her gender change might have occurred sooner. During an appearance on the “Broad Ideas with Rachel Bilson” podcast, the Atlanta native explained how starring in “13 Reasons Why” impacted her transition.

Tommy Dorfman Says Netflix’s Hit Teen Drama Delayed Her Transition

Tommy Dorfman looks radiant in a red velvet dress as leaving The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in NYC

Dorfman may have risen to fame for her role as Ryan Shaver on the famous Netflix series; however, the TV personality admitted that the popular franchise affected her trans journey. While talking to hosts Rachel Bilson and Olivia Allen on a recent podcast episode, the 30-year-old explained how the teen drama made her feel “stuck in time.”

According to the “Jane the Virgin” star, the early success of her acting career forced her to isolate certain aspects of her life, notably her gender identity. The enormous love and support the entertainer received for portraying a cisgender male character on the Netflix series negatively impacted the Atlanta native’s decision to transition.


“I think if I hadn’t booked that job, I would’ve started transitioning a lot sooner,” Dorfman confessed before reflecting on how the series changed her views. “I think because my work being 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,” the 30-year-old explained.

This period came with several challenges, as being in the spotlight at such a young age while contemplating her authentic identity made Dorfman wary of the public’s eyes. The “American Princess” actress admitted that the idea of transitioning publicly after achieving a big TV debut stopped her from making decisions aligned with her heart.

Out of fear of losing her newfound fame, the Hollywood sensation compartmentalized goals like personal development and anything relating to “dysphoria and gender.” However, the “Love in the Time of Corona” star found the courage to be her authentic self. In July 2021, the 30-year-old announced her transition in an interview with TIME.

At the time, the entertainer explained that her confession should not be taken as “coming out” but as a reintroduction of herself as a woman who transitioned medically. The “Fluidity” star described her new gender change as a clarification of her authentic self, a trans woman named Tommy.

Since that memorable event, the actress has proudly embraced her new identity. Dorfman revealed to the podcast hosts that she knew she was meant for the female body when she started transitioning. According to the Atlanta native, she did not feel like a member of the world until she realized that she had been rocking the wrong clothes and body for years.

The ‘In My Skin’ Star Got Her First Role As A Trans Woman Thanks To a Longtime Friend

As previously shared by The Blast, Dorfman got cast in the 2022 movie “Sharp Stick” thanks to her good friend, Lena Dunham. This marked the first movie role that the  “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” guest judge got since transitioning to a woman. Before landing the part, the entertainer alongside Taylor Swift served as Dunham’s bridesmaids at her 2021 wedding to the English-Peruvian musician Luis Felber.

Given their history, it was unsurprising that the film producer granted her maid of honor a role in “Sharp Stick.” According to Dorfman, the movie was shot during the early stages of her transition. Reminiscing about her past, the Atlanta native explained that she could barely recognize the woman she was while filming Dunham’s movie. However, the actress loved and admired her old self.

The Hollywood sensation also expressed gratitude to her friend for allowing her to portray a female character whose plot did not involve trans women. The Golden Globe Award winner was not the only person who supported Dorfman during her transition, as The Blast reported that the 30-year-old paid tribute to her mother, Cathy.


On Mother’s Day, the Netflix star shared several pictures of herself posing with her cis-mother on Instagram. This sweet post was captioned with the actress’s love for her parent. In her message, the TV personality thanked her mother for being her “hero” and teaching her valuable life lessons that shaped the actress’s personality.

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