“13 Reasons Why” star Tommy Dorfman is opening up about how starring on the teen drama impacted her transition as a transgender woman.
During an appearance on the podcast “Broad Ideas with Rachel Bilson” on Monday, Dorfman – who played Ryan Shaver in the Netflix series – said she “got stuck in time” because of her early career success and was forced to compartmentalize aspects of her personality. development, such as her gender identity.
“If I hAcesparks’t booked that job I would have started transitioning a lot sooner,” Dorfman told hosts Bilson and Olivia Allen. “I think because my work (was) so tied to my body and face and identity, or whatever I had been identified as, it delayed some of my growth and some of my maturation in my mid-20s.”
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Dorfman, who came out as a trans in July 2021, added that her transition provided clarity about the alienation she felt growing up.
“I always felt like I wasn’t really meant for the world I was living in. You know how people are like, ‘I should have been born in the ’80s’ or something? I always had that feeling,” Dorfman explained. . “And then when I started transitioning I was like, ‘Oh no no no, I am totally meant for this body and meant for this time and meant for this world. I just was wearing a sweater that was three sizes too small — for 28 years.’ “
Dorfman previously discussed what it was like rising to celebrity status in a body that was unfamiliar to her in an InStyle interview published in August 2021.
“I went to college and worked hard to get my first job, so when I started in this industry, I thought I was just supposed to be grateful no matter what,” Dorfman said. “I felt that speaking out or changing anything would just (expletive) something up, and then I wouldn’t be able to work anymore.”
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Dorfman noted an important turning point came when she saw an ad she did with Calvin Klein during the pandemic on a big billboard. The ad was shot prior to her transition.
“It was just, like, boy face, boy body, shot by Ryan McGinley. It was supposed to be something I was so proud of, this ‘iconic thing.’ And it was such an honor because it was Pride. But I was just so unhappy,” Dorfman said. “I was looking at it, and it was the most dysphoric I’ve ever felt.”
Since coming out publicly and starting on hormones, Dorfman said she’s “never felt better.”
“I spent 28 years of my life suicidal and depressed and recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction. I don’t think I’ve ever been genuinely happy until this past year,” she said at the time. “I look at the Internet chronicle of photos of me since I started working, and I can see how (expletive) unhappy I was in every photo. It’s wild.”
Contributing: Rasha Ali,
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