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Dorfman played Ryan Shaver — a cisgender male character — on the Netflix teen drama, which shot her to fame. Dorfman now can see that he outpouring of love from fans of the show complicated her personal trajectory.
"I think because my work being so tied to my body and like face and like identity, and whatever I'd been identified as, it delayed some of my growth and maturation in my mid-20s," she continued. "I also think I made decisions that were just not aligned with how I really was or what I wanted — but out of fear."
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Dorfman says her newfound fame, and the prospect of transitioning publicly, even impacted how she perceived her self and stunted her ability to live authentically.
"For me, I feel like I kind of got stuck in time for a minute, like I actually had to put lot of stuff that I maybe thought I was going to work on — or I thought I would do, or like personal developmental things — I had to kind of compartmentalize those things and put them away," she said.
"When it came to anything around dysphoria or gender or stuff that had already been really present, I was like, 'Nope, that's not for now, I'm working.'"
"It's funny to think about coming out, because I haven't gone anywhere," Dorfman added. "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."