13 Reasons Why star Tommy Dorfman admitted she would have transitioned earlier into her career if she did not get the role in the Netflix series.

Dorfman appeared on Broad Ideas with Rachel Bilson and spoke about her experience.

She discussed what she was going through around the time of getting the part.

“I had to put a lot of stuff that I thought I was gonna work on or gonna do, personal development things, I had to compartmentalise and put them away. So when it came to anything around dysphoria or gender and stuff that had already been present I was like: ‘Nope that’s not for now,’” said Dorfman.

The 30-year-old played Ryan Shaver in all four seasons of 13 Reasons Why. She landed the role when she was 24.


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Dorfman stated she was still navigating her own identity whilst playing such a high-profile part.

“In those early years of working I was just trying to understand. I think if I hadn’t booked that job I would have started transitioning a lot sooner,” she explained.

“I think because my work was so tied to my body and face and identity or whatever I had been identified as, it delayed some of my growth and maturation in my mid-20s. And I think I also made decisions that were just not aligned with who I really was and who I really wanted but out of fear. I probably got married for the first time for safety because it felt like a safe, secure space.”

Dorfman was married to partner Peter Zurkuhlen for five years.

They divorced in February 2022 and decided they were better as friends.

In 2021, the actress announced she was transgender in an interview with Time magazine. She privately transitioned the year before.

During the podcast episode, Dorfman also announced she’s engaged to a woman.