Tommy Dorfman has come out as a transgender woman.
The star, best known for roles as Ryan Shaver on 13 Reasons Why and Bobby on Jane the Virgin, has been “privately identifying and living as a woman – a trans woman” over the past year.
Speaking with TIME, Tommy – who uses she/her pronouns – said she’s made a medical transition and sees this as her “reintroduction” to the world.
“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,” she explained.
“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. But I recognize that transitioning is beautiful. Why not let the world see what that looks like? So I kept, on Instagram, a diaristic time capsule instead—one that shows a body living in a more fluid space.
“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.
“So, recently I looked to examples of others who have come out as trans. There’s the version I couldn’t really afford to do, which is to disappear for two years and come back with a new name, new face and new body. But that’s not what I wanted.”
Tommy said she was concerned over how her transition would impact her career, because she’s no longer interested in playing “male” characters – “except for maybe in a Cate Blanchett playing Bob Dylan way” – but came to the realisation that she needs to live her life more authentically.
Discussing the next steps in her career, Tommy added: “I’m thinking about how I can infuse my trans body into film and television. Lena Dunham gave me my first role as a girl last year—it was so exciting and validating.
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“And personally, 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. 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.”
Tommy ended her interview by calling her transition “liberating and clarifying,” and that she’s looking forward to a future where she is “radically honest”.
You can read Tommy Dorfman’s full interview with TIME here.