Tommy Dorfman, star of Netflix‘s 13 Reasons Why, has come out publicly as transgender.
In a new interview with TIME, the 29-year-old performer spoke candidly about her gender identity, revealing that, “for a year now, [she has been] privately identifying and living as a woman – a trans woman”.
Dorfman had previously come out as non-binary in 2017.
“It’s funny to think about coming out,” she reflected, “because I haven’t gone anywhere. I view today as a reintroduction to me as a woman, having made a transition medically.”
“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 also said that despite having built a career playing male-presenting characters (13 Reasons Why, Love, Victor, Insatiable), she’ll no longer be playing ‘male’ characters.
“It’s impossible for me to separate my personal and professional transition, because my body and face are linked to my career,” she said. “I’m most recognized for playing a bitchy gay poet on a soap opera, and I feared that by actively transitioning in my personal life, I would lose whatever career I’ve been told I’m supposed to have.”
“But I’m no longer interested in playing ‘male’ characters—except for maybe in a ‘Cate Blanchett playing Bob Dylan’ way,” she continued. “Sometimes you just have to say, ‘No, this is just who I f**cking am’.”
Tommy got married to her husband, Peter Zurkuhlen, in 2016, and says the two “redefined” their relationship into more of a friendship after she got more comfortable with her gender.
“It’s wild to be 29 and going through puberty again. Some days I feel like I’m 14. As a result of that shift, the types of romantic partnerships I seek out are different,” Tommy said.
“I was in a nine-year relationship in which I was thought of as a more male-bodied person, with a gay man. I love him so much, but we’ve been learning that as a trans woman, what I’m interested in is not necessarily reflected in a gay man. So we’ve had incredible conversations to redefine our relationship as friends.
“Transitioning has been liberating and clarifying.”