13 Reasons Why star Tommy Dorfman has publicly shared, for the first time, that she is a trans woman.
Dorfman, who played the character of Ryan Shaver on Netflix's hit series, spoke to novelist Torrey Peters for TIME, about living as a woman publicly after privately identifying as such for a year.
"It's funny to think about coming out, because I haven't gone anywhere," she said. "I view today as a reintroduction to me as a woman, having made a transition medically."
She continued, "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, who has been showcasing her changing style on Instagram for the last few months, also explained that she wanted to publicly address her transition so that she could remain in control of 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," she said. "But I recognize that transitioning is beautiful. Why not let the world see what that looks like?"
So Dorfman kept, on Instagram, "a diaristic time capsule" in order to show "a body living in a more fluid space," she continued. "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. With this medical transition, there has been discourse about my body, and it began to feel overwhelming."
Elsewhere in the discussion, Dorfman also clarified that she will continue to use her birth name which honors her mother's brother who passed away shortly after her birth.
"I love my name, I want to keep my name and give new life to my name," she said. "I'm really proud of the person that I was, too. I think that's important to acknowledge. I'm proud of who I've been for the last however many years."
On Instagram today, Dorfman celebrated the reintroduction by expressing her gratitude for "every single trans person who walked this path, broke down barriers, and risked their lives to live authentically and radically as themselves" before Dorfman.
She continued, "Thank you to all the trans woman that showed me who i am, how to live, celebrate myself, and take up space in this world."
Photography: Gizelle Hernandez for TIME
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