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13 Reasons Why’s Tommy Dorfman Says Transitioning Was Like ‘Second Puberty’

by : Cameron Frew on : 25 Aug 2021 13:58
13 Reasons Why's Tommy Dorfman Says Transitioning Was Like 'Second Puberty'Anthony Maule/InStyle/Instagram

13 Reasons Why star Tommy Dorfman has described transitioning as going through a ‘second puberty’.

The actor, who played Ryan Shaver on the hit Netflix series, came out as trans in July this year. ‘It’s funny to think about coming out, because I haven’t gone anywhere. I view today as a reintroduction to me as a woman, having made a transition medically,’ she wrote in her announcement.

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Dorfman has since spoken more about her transition; why it was the right time, where she wants to go from here, and the process itself.

Speaking to InStyle, the 29-year-old spoke about coming out officially as trans. ‘I had to be in a more secure place in my life – in my career, financially, whatever – because I needed to take time off to do it. Someone just said to me that I had told them I was definitely going to transition, but I didn’t know when and maybe it was going to be a 40s journey,’ she said.

‘Whenever I close my eyes or dream, I see myself as a woman. That was always the case. A trans elder asked me what I see myself as when I’m older, when I’m 60, 70, 90. It was so clear, I just saw Cate Blanchett [laughs]. But I really couldn’t imagine not being a mother or a grandmother. My spirit was so attuned to whatever it means to be a woman.’

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Prior to the Time article being published, Dorfman couldn’t sleep. ‘I thought maybe I’d bitten off more than I could chew… it had nothing to do with people’s reactions, because that’s out of my control, but with the attention and conversations that come up around this topic.

‘Ultimately, this is my choice. It’s a lot, but it was also exciting and gratifying and powerful. I had an opportunity to lie in bed and scroll through DMs from people telling me they came out after reading this – hundreds of messages of not just support, but literally saying that reading [my story] inspired them to start using the name they always wanted to use, and things like that.’

She explained how she wanted to ‘align my body with my spirit, but I didn’t want to disappear for years to do that’, and ‘come out like a butterfly’, as the interviewer put it.

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‘I also had never seen a body in transition before, and I think that’s a scary thing as a trans person. It’s kind of alien, and it’s incredibly autonomous.

‘It’s puberty as an adult if you do it at my age – it’s a second puberty, and I think you’re supposed to go through puberty at an age when you don’t remember it because it hurts. It’s body-aching and emotionally wonky. But I had an opportunity to be of service. And for the most part, putting it into my work.’

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Cameron Frew

Entertainment Editor at UNILAD. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best film ever made, and Warrior is better than Rocky. That's all you need to know.

Topics: Celebrity, 13 Reasons Why, LGBTQ+, no-article-matching, Now, transgender

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InStyle and 1 other
  1. InStyle

    Tommy Dorfman on the Beauty of Becoming Herself

  2. Time

    Tommy Dorfman Would Like to Clarify