Tommy Dorfman on ‘discomfort and euphoria’ of transitioning


Tommy Dorfman has spoken up about ‘confronting’ old photographs of herself as she shared a stunning new photoshoot (Picture: Jessica Osber Photography)

Tommy Dorfman has reflected on transitioning in the public eye with an open and honest post.

The American actress shot to fame in 2017 as she played Ryan Shaver in the acclaimed teen drama 13 Reasons Why.

Tommy, who is queer, came out as non-binary while she was on the show and initially used they/them pronouns, and has since come out as being a transgender woman.

The star announced her identity publicly in July 2021, but said she had been living ‘privately’ as a woman for close to a year at that point.

Now Tommy has reflected on how far she’s come, saying she is ‘grateful’ to still ‘be here’ as she opens up on the difficulties of transitioning under the spotlight.

Taking to Instagram on Friday, the actress shared snaps from a new photoshoot she underwent in July.

In comparison, Tommy also added an older snap of herself taken in 2016, before she had come out.

While would not usually share pre-transition photographs, in this instance we have included all the photos in Tommy’s post due to her choosing to share and speaking openly about her journey.

The US actress shot to fame as Ryan in 13 Reasons Why, and came out as a trans woman years later (Picture: Jessica Osber Photography
Tommy says part of her ‘euphoria’ is seeing the woman she is today, compared with her old photograph (Picture: Jessica Osber Photography)

Writing to her 1.3 million followers, Tommy said: ‘Another year, another new headshot.

‘Part of the discomfort of transitioning in this public space is constantly being confronted with former versions of myself online, but a large part of my euphoria and joy stems from seeing myself through another’s lens as the woman i am today.’

Tommy added: ‘I don’t always recognize myself in these moments, but i’m grateful to be here. (sic)’

She happily urged anyone who wanted to ‘see baby T’ to swipe through the snaps and see her headshots taken fresh out of acting school.

Tommy invited people to see ‘baby T’ as she shared an old headshot taken fresh out of acting school (Picture: Jessica Osber Photography)
Since coming out, the actress has stunned at the Met Gala and become a role model for young trans people (Picture: Getty Images North America)

The star received massive support from friends and fans alike after sharing the honest post, with Marc Jacobs writing: ‘So much love for you.’

LGBT+ activist Cleo Wade said ‘it’s giving healthy and happy,’ while another pal wrote: ‘It’s giving vanity fair.’

Model Ella Emhoff, the stepdaughter of US Vice President Kamala Harris, told Tommy she looked ‘STUNNING.’

Meanwhile, Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan complimented Tommy’s hairstyle by writing: ‘The BOB is being bobbin.’

Tommy used her platform and presence at the Met Gala to call for people to ‘protect trans kids’ (Picture

Tommy came out in an honest interview with Time magazine last year and said she hadn’t previously ‘felt safe enough to talk about it.’

‘But I recognise that transitioning is beautiful. Why not let the world see what that looks like?’

She said at the time that she would be keeping her name, Tommy, as she was named after her mother’s brother who died soon after she was born.

tommy dorfman

Tommy has previously spoken about the joy transitioning has given her, admitting she doesn’t think she was ever ‘genuinely happy’ before then (Picture: Getty Images for BFC)

The actress explained: ‘This is an evolution of Tommy. I’m becoming more Tommy.’

In May, Tommy made her Met Gala debut in a green latex gown with gold detailing – and an iconic handbag emblazoned with the words: ‘protect trans kids.’

She herself previously admitted that transitioning had had a major impact on her happiness, saying: ‘I don’t think I’ve ever been genuinely happy until this past year.’

‘I only take hormones. I just switched my hormones, and I’ve never felt better in my life,’ she told InStyle last summer. 

’I spent 28 years of my life suicidal and depressed and recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction.’

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