Tommy Dorfman says 13 Reasons Why role delayed her transition
17 August 2022, 17:21 | Updated: 2 June 2023, 17:58
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"It delayed some of my growth and some of my maturation in my 20s”
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Speaking about her transition during an episode of the Broad Ideas with Rachel Bilson podcast, 30-year-old Tommy spoke about her early days in Hollywood and how landing the role of Ryan Shaver in Netflix's 13 Reasons Why — her first “real professional job” — impacted things.
“In those early years of working, I was just trying to understand [myself],” she explained on the podcast. “I think if I hadn’t booked that job I would have transitioned a lot sooner. I think because of my work being so tied to my body and face and identify, or whatever [a character] identified as, it delayed some of my growth and some of my maturation in my 20s.”
Tommy married her longtime boyfriend Peter Zurkuhlen in 2016 before filing for divorce in February this year.
“I made decisions that were just not aligned with how I really was or what I wanted — but out of fear,” The actress went on to explain that, growing up, she has always felt “out of place”.
She’s been sober since the age of 21, and compared alcoholism and addiction to gender dysmorphia, adding that both situations can make you feel like "you're living in a fog". "[Transitioning was] very similar to my first year of sobriety," she said of her first year living as a transgender woman. “It feels very odd and confusing. Every day feels different.”
Tommy then went on to say that she felt as though acting (both professionally and in her everyday life) was the only way she could “feel things”.
"For me, I always felt like other people had a guidebook for life that I just did not [have]," she continued. "I would always be like, ‘How did you know how to brush your teeth twice a day?’ That’s crazy. Or, ‘You know how to make a bed?’ Or these simple basic human things that were just not available to me.”
One month after publicly coming out, Tommy spoke about the medical process in an interview with InStyle.
"Two weeks into having estrogen in my body, I was like, 'Oh.' It felt like I sank into the earth and was grounded. I can sleep now. I wake up moderately happy," she said, per the outlet. "I felt it hit, and I was like, 'Let's ride.' And as the testosterone leaves my body, I feel so much better. I'm more energized. I feel how I think I was always supposed to feel."
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