“I view today as a reintroduction to me as a woman, having made a transition medically,” Dorfman says. “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.”
As Peters points out in her intro to the conversation, Dorfman’s self-presentation has evolved noticeably recently. Dorfman began using they/them pronouns and identifying as non-binary publicly around 2017, and her style reflected that fluidity. But more recently her look has skewed more and more feminine. She’s grown her hair out and posted photos in bras and bikini tops. But the Time interview marks the first time she spoken publicly about her transition.
“I’ve been living in this other version of coming out where I don’t feel safe enough to talk about it, so I just do it,” she tells Peters. “I recognize that transitioning is beautiful. Why not let the world see what that looks like? So I kept, on Instagram, a diaristic time capsule instead—one that shows a body living in a more fluid space.”
Dorfman and Peters also discuss the burdensome notion that trans people should disappear and reemerge as someone completely different rather than transition publicly. “It’s completely unrealistic and unsustainable, especially when trans people are some of the most disenfranchised and disadvantaged people,” Dorfman says.
And Dorfman clarifies why she’s not changing her name: she’s named after her mother’s late brother, to whom she still feels connected. “This is an evolution of Tommy,” she explains. “I’m becoming more Tommy.”
Dorfman isn’t the first celeb to come out in Time. Recently, the magazine seems to have become the go-to outlet for trans actors to reintroduce themselves to the public. Josie Totah wrote an essay for the magazine in 2018 revealing that she is trans, and Elliot Page appeared on the cover in March, giving his first interview since coming out as trans.