Tommy Dorfman

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Tommy Dorfman
Tommy Dorfman 2018.png
Dorfman in a 2018 video
Date of birth May 13, 1992
Place of birth Atlanta, Georgia
Nationality American
Gender identity nonbinary
Occupation actor
Known for 13 Reasons Why


Tommy Dorfman (born May 13, 1992) is an American actor known for playing the role of Ryan Shaver in the Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why.

Dorfman was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. They graduated from Fordham University's drama program in 2015 with a B.A. in theatre arts. After graduating, they were cast in the role of Ryan Shaver on 13 Reasons Why, which premiered in 2017. Also that year, they helped design a fashion collection with ASOS, and, in October, was honored with the Rising Star Award by GLAAD.[1]

In 2016, Dorfman married Peter Zurkuhlen.[2][3]

Dorfman came out as nonbinary in 2017.[4] They had some difficulty finding a talent agency due to discrimination against nonbinary people, with one agent telling Dorfman that their identity was "a fad" which would make the actor a poor investment for the agency.[5]

In Spring 2019, Dorfman made their New York theatrical debut as the character Max in The New Group's production of Jeremy O. Harris' play "Daddy", directed by Danya Taymor.[6][7]

Quotes[edit | edit source]

"I started dressing myself at a very young age. And you could tell because I was a boy wearing girl's clothing. I don’t think 'style' was the word I would have used; everything was costume. I would emulate the Spice Girls, too. I went through a phase where I was only buying platform shoes, bell bottom jeans, tube tops, and denim jackets, and wanting to get long fake nails but my parents wouldn't let me. My siblings would protect me on the school bus because I was bullied a lot, physically and verbally, because of the way I was dressing. Growing up, I hated the idea that clothing was gendered. I identify as nonbinary. I present as mostly masculine because it’s just how I feel, but I've never had this idea that clothing should be one thing or the other."[4]

"As a kid I dreamed both as a boy and a girl. In the past few years, I've had the language to describe and eventually accept myself as nonbinary. Yet within this industry, I've felt stuck in a Bermuda Triangle of these parts of self."[8]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Loizzo-Desai, Alexandra (31 October 2017). "Fordham Theatre Grad Honored by GLAAD". Fordham Newsroom. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  2. M, Bianca. "Tommy Dorfman Opens Up About Being Out As An Actor, And His Husband". Girlfriend. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  3. Instagram post, 14 Feb 2020
  4. 4.0 4.1 Peoples, Landon (16 November 2017). "Tommy Dorfman's Latest Fashion Statement: Gender". Refinery29. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  5. "How gender-nonconforming actors are changing Hollywood". NBC News. June 8, 2020. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  6. "Tommy Dorfman Career". Stark Times. 21 October 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  7. Stasio, Marilyn (March 5, 2019). "Off Broadway Review: 'Daddy' Starring Alan Cumming". Variety. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  8. Dorfman, Tommy (26 June 2018). "Tommy Dorfman Shares What It's Like to Wear Gendered Clothes as a Non-Binary Person". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
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