Tommy Dorfman, best known as Ryan Shaver on the Netflix teen drama series "13 Reasons Why," is reintroducing herself as a transgender woman.
In an interview with Time, the actress opened up about making the decision to officially share the news, explaining that she had been privately identifying and living as a trans woman for a year, adding that finally speaking about it was not a way of "coming out," but rather a way of clearing the air.
"It’s funny to think about coming out, because I haven’t gone anywhere," Dorfman said. "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 went on to explain that she had been grappling with feeling as if she was not safe enough to talk about being a trans woman. She has gradually been sharing updates of her transition on Instagram but has not formally confirmed it, or opened up about it. Now she said she is able to 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," Dorfman said. "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."
In a video clip cited by Yahoo! Entertainment, Dorfman explained that being in isolation due to the pandemic forced her to search within for answers.
"Some people moved houses during the pandemic, some people changed genders," she said. "For many years I wanted to start transitioning and it felt really daunting and really scary to embark on that journey, especially because I’m at the beginning of my career."
Dorfman said having space to finally sit and contemplate what she wanted to do going forward helped her make some tough decisions.
"For me, it really took everything to go away, me alone in my bed, trying to imagine what my life at 60 would look like — and all I can see was a woman."
Looking ahead Dorfman said she was carrying hope and optimism along with her as she continues to move forward.
"One doesn’t have to medically transition to be trans, but for me, it was an active choice. I’m aligning my body with my soul," she continued. "Yet as a result of that, I am losing some things. I have to reckon with the fact that I brought along a lot of people and things who might not end up being there for this part of my journey. All I can do now is look to a future where I am, hopefully, just radically honest. That's the person I am becoming."
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