Tommy Dorfman Reveals She's Engaged, Talks How '13 Reasons Why' Delayed Transition

She was previously married to Peter Zurkuhlen

Tommy Dorfman is engaged!

During an appearance on the latest episode of the Broad Ideas podcast, the 30-year-old revealed she is engaged to a “cis woman” and said her fiancée was “just a gay girl.”

The “13 Reasons Why” star opened up about her relationship and her desire to explore her sexuality with women. She explained that she “knew I was interested in women in a way that I hadn’t really been aware of since high school.”

“I had this unresolved, unexplored thing. I was like, ‘This is the year that I’m gonna go on some dates with girls and feel that out again, and not feel ashamed about it,'” Dorfman revealed.

Dorfman’s relationship with her fiancée is something she finds “vey affirming” and shared that her betrothed is the first woman she’s been with in a “very long time.”

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“It’s safe. Also not safe and like being in love is so scary,” she continued. “So uncomfortable, so painful. All the universal feelings of being in love that are probably the same.”

Tommy also explained she feared how her attraction to women would affect her female friendships.

“Because they thought of me as a gay man, they were like,’‘Oh, like you’re the safest person in the world.’ And then suddenly, I transition and I become a little bit more threatening, in my head.”

She was previously married to Peter Zurkuhlen.

Tommy also opened up about her breakout role as Ryan Shaver on Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” and how it delayed her transition.

“I think if I hadn’t booked that job, I would’ve started transitioning a lot sooner,” Dorfman reflected.

“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 admitted. “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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“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 elaborated. “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.'”

Last July, Tommy reintroduced herself as a woman in an interview with TIME, where she opened up about living as a trans woman and her transition for the first time.

“We’re talking today to discuss my gender. For a year now, I have been privately identifying and living as a woman — a trans woman,” explained Dorfman, who goes by she/her pronouns. “It’s funny to think about coming out, because I haven’t gone anywhere. I view today as a reintroduction to me as a woman, having made a transition medically.”

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While she said “coming out” is usually seen as a “grand reveal,” Dorfman hasn’t been hiding on social media — which she’s used to show “a body living in a more fluid space” throughout her transition.

“With this medical transition, there has been discourse about my body, and it began to feel overwhelming,” she continued. “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.”

She decided that, instead of having her own narrative “stripped” away due to her initial “refusal to clarify,” she came out in TIME. Dorfman said she has no plans to change her name, which came from her late uncle.

“I feel very connected to that name, to an uncle who held me as he was dying. This is an evolution of Tommy. I’m becoming more Tommy,” she explained.

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