The 30-year-old actor starred as classmate Ryan Shaver in the 2017 series, which follows the aftermath of high-schooler Hannah Baker’s (Katherine Langford) death by suicide.
In a recent appearance on the podcast Broad Ideas with Rachel Bilson, Dorfman explained how her “growth” and “maturation” were delayed by her Hollywood career.
“In those early years of working, I was just trying to understand [myself],” she said, adding that 13 Reasons Why was her first real job.
“I think if I hadn’t booked that job I would have transitioned a lot sooner,” she reflected. “I think because of my work being so tied to my body and face and identify, or whatever [a character] identified as, it delayed some of my growth and some of my maturation in my twenties.”
She said: “I made decisions that were just not aligned with how I really was or what I wanted – but out of fear.”
Dorfman reintroduced herself as a trans woman in July 2021 in a Time interview with author Torrey Peters.
“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 said at the time.
Elsewhere on the podcast, host Bilson, former star of The OC, left listeners in hysterics with a NSFW admission about her ex-boyfriend, Barry star Bill Hader.
13 Reasons Why is available to stream on Netflix.