'13 Reasons Why's Tommy Dorfman Wanted to Transition 'A Lot Sooner'

·2 min read
Tommy Dorfman
Tommy Dorfman

13 Reasons Why star Tommy Dorfman is opening up about how her career in Hollywood has impacted her transition, and how the two things haven’t always meshed.

Dorfman was talking about her transition on the podcast Broad Ideas with Rachel Bilson when she opened up about her early career and how it related to her gender identity.

“In those early years of working, I was just trying to understand [myself],” she said, mentioning that the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why was her first real professional acting job. Unfortunately, booking that job meant putting other things on hold.

“I think if I hadn’t booked that job I would have transitioned a lot sooner,” Dorfman said. “I think because of my work being so tied to my body and face and identity, or whatever [my character] identified as, it delayed some of my growth and some of my maturation in my 20s. I made decisions that were just not aligned with how I really was or what I wanted — but out of fear.”

She continued, saying that her 2016 marriage to longtime boyfriend Peter Zurkuhlen was “probably” one of those decisions, and helped her feel “safe” in Hollywood and life. She and Zurkuhlen divorced in February of this year.

“It felt like a safe, secure space that I can carve out for myself in a world that was ever-changing,” she said of the marriage. “I was just dealing with stuff that I didn’t know about yet.”

She said that before transitioning, she spent her whole life feeling like she didn’t fit.

“I always felt like I wasn’t 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,” she said. “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.”

Thank god she’s found the clothes that fit.

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