’13 Reasons Why’ star Tommy Dorfman says she wanted to transition “a lot sooner”

"I made decisions that were just not aligned with how I really was or what I wanted"

13 Reasons Why star Tommy Dorfman has said she would have “transitioned a lot sooner” if she hadn’t landed a role on the Netflix teen drama.

The actress starred as Ryan Shaver in the hit series, which revolved around the suicide of high school student Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford).

During a recent appearance on the Broad Ideas with Rachel Bilson podcast, Dorfman explained how her transition was delayed by her Hollywood career.


“In those early years of working, I was just trying to understand [myself],” she said, adding that 13 Reasons Why was her first real job.

“I think if I hadn’t booked that job I would have transitioned a lot sooner. I think because of my work being so tied to my body and face and identify, or whatever [a character] identified as, it delayed some of my growth and some of my maturation in my twenties.”

She added: “I made decisions that were just not aligned with how I really was or what I wanted – but out of fear.”

13 Reasons Why
Katherine Langford as Hannah in 13 Reasons Why

Dorfman announced her transition back in July 21. In an interview with Time, she explained how, for the past year, she had been “privately identifying and living as a woman – a trans woman”

“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,” she said at the time.


She also expanded on why it was important to document her transition on Instagram as a means of controlling her narrative.

“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,” Dorfman said.

“But I recognise 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.”