'Nonbinary' Netflix star says he now identifies as 'transgender woman'

Actor Tommy Dorfman, well-known for a recurring role on the Netflix series '13 Reasons Why,' announced that after years of identifying as nonbinary, he is now living as a transgender woman.
Actor Tommy Dorfman, well-known for a recurring role on the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why," announced that after years of identifying as nonbinary, he is now living as a transgender woman. | YouTube/Time magazine

An actor who had a recurring role on a Netflix series has announced that after several years of identifying as nonbinary, he now identifies as a woman.

Tommy Dorfman, who had a recurring role on the Netflix original series “13 Reasons Why,” discussed the "fluidity" of his gender identity during an interview with Time magazine. The interview was accompanied by a video interview and scenes from a photoshoot showing the actor wearing dresses, jewelry and makeup, and discussing how he'd like to portray women in films. 

“For a year now, I have been privately identifying and living as a woman — a trans woman,” Dorfman told the publication. “I view today as a reintroduction to me as a woman, having made a transition medically.”

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“Today is about clarity: I am a trans woman. My pronouns are she/her. My name is Tommy,” Dorfman added. Dorfman had previously identified as “nonbinary” in a 2017 interview with the entertainment outlet Refinery29. 

As noted in the Time article, Dorfman “rose to fame in 2017 in the role of Ryan Shaver, the conniving scene-stealing poet on the Netflix series '13 Reasons Why.'” 

Dorfman’s Instagram account, Time continued, shows a “change in Tommy’s style and appearance,” even though the actor “said nothing, acknowledged no change, just continued on — until now.” The performer “kept, on Instagram, a diaristic time capsule instead — one that shows a body living in a more fluid space.” 

While many other trans-identified celebrities, such as Caitlyn Jenner and Elliot Page, have switched out their given names for names that match their chosen gender identities, Dorfman has no plans to do the same.

“I’m named after my mom’s brother who passed a month after I was born, and I feel very connected to that name, to an uncle who held me as he was dying. This is an evolution of Tommy. I’m becoming more Tommy.

“Everything I’ve done up until the end of last year has been in the wrong body and not in my truth, and so much of my work as an actor was like hiding this part of myself and then bringing life to character,” Dorfman added. “I’m just excited to play women, trans women, cis women, women in general, nonbinary femme-presenting people.”

Dorfman maintained that he's “ ... always felt incredibly feminine.” He further asserted that he's " ... aligning my body with my soul.” 

He then expressed a desire to “infuse my trans body into film and television,” adding, “It’s wild to be a 29-year-old going through puberty again. Some days, I feel like I’m 14.”

While the Netflix star characterized trans-identified individuals as “some of the most disenfranchised and disadvantaged people,” trans and LGB-identified Americans have seen their representation on television programming increase substantially.

Earlier this year, Wonya Lucas, president and CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, the parent company of the Hallmark Channel, traditionally known for family-friendly programming, touted the “seismic” shift in the number of LGBT characters on its shows. 

In his interview with Time, Dorfman criticized states that have passed laws that protect girls' sports by banning boys who identify as female from competing against them in athletic competitions. Many states have also banned trans-identified students from entering bathrooms, locker rooms and showers designated for the opposite sex.  

Several states have passed such sports bills that acknowledge the inherent physical advantages that biological males have over biological females even after trans-identified athletes take experimental cross-sex hormones. 

Dorfman claims that these bills " ... inhibit the success, safety and livelihoods of trans people, specifically trans youth.”

The actor played a woman for the first time in an upcoming Lena Dunham film titled “Sharp Sticks.”

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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